Moorhen, Common Waterhen
Mongolian: Хажилгат ханчир, Хажилгат түнжүүр
Japanese: バン (Ban)
Body length: 27-31 cm.
Common breeder on smaller
lakes, ponds, pools and rivers with dense vegetation cover. Usually secretive
but in some places quite bold, and may be seen strolling in open on grass and
waterside meadows. Northern breeders migrate to W and S Europe, returning in
Mar-Apr. Nest a roofed basket well hidden in dense vegetation.
A pigeon-sized, dark bird with rather long tail and long green legs and longs
toes. Bill red with yellow tip. Slate-grey plumage (upperparts brown-tinged)
with a white line along side of body and white sides to undertail-coverts (form
inverted white V in rear view). Carries tail high and jerks it when walking,
also jerks head when swimming. Juvenile: Grey-brown with dirty white chin and
throat; identified by shape and actions, also by pale line along side and white
undertail-coverts. Downy young is like that of Coot, black with red bill, but
lacks yellow-brown collar.