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Posts Tagged ‘Gallinula chloropus’

I am back now in the USA, but thought I’d post one last image from my recent trip to Brussels. I spotted this young Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) swimming around in the small pond at the botanical garden. There were several other moorhens, but they all stayed in the reeds and I was not able to get a good shot of them. I really like the spiky feathers of young moorhens. When they become adults, their feathers appear to be much smoother in appearance.

Common Moorhen

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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As I was exploring the Rouge-Cloître (Red Cloister) Park in Brussels, Belgium last weekend, I could hear some excited peeping coming from a heavily-vegetated area at the edge of a pond. Peering through the reeds, I could just make out the dark shapes and brightly-colored beaks of a pair of adult Common Moorhens (Gallinula chloropus).

As I kept watching I began to see several smaller shapes and realized there were baby chicks with the parents—there were at least three chicks and possibly more. The chicks and the parents remained mostly out of sight, but occasionally I got a partial glimpse of one of them through the vegetation as they moved about and managed to snap off a few shots.

I am also including a shot of an adult moorhen that I spotted earlier in the day at another park, in case you are not familiar with this bird species. In the photo you can’t help but notice that Common Moorhens have large feet that lack the webbing that we are used to seeing in ducks.

Common Moorhen

Common Moorhen

Common Moorhen

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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When I am traveling, all of the new species that I encounter seem rare and exotic, even if they are common in the local area. That may well be the case with these Eurasian Common Moorhens (Gallinula chloropus) that I encountered in Brussels this week. I love the way the bright colors of the adult’s bill are enhanced by the contrast with its rather drab plumage.

Eurasian Common Moorhen

Eurasian Common Moorhen

When I saw some younger birds pecking about, it didn’t immediately strike me that they might also be moorhens. When I studies my photos, however, I could see the start of the bright coloration on the bills and a similar bill shape, so I think this final photo is of an immature common moorhen.

Eurasian Common Moorhen

I took these photos with my superzoom Canon SX50 at a small pond adjacent to the botanical garden of Brussels, not far from Place Rogier in the center of the city.

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

 

 

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