Dusky Moorhens


Dusky Moorhen, Gallinula tenebrosa

Dusky Moorhen, Gallinula tenebrosa - Adult with chickThe Dusky Moorhens (Gallinula tenebrosa) are rails found in Australia, New Guinea, and Indonesia. They inhabit wetland habitats, with a preference for freshwater marshes.


Those occurring in New Guinea tend to be smaller (averaging 25-32 cm in length). The Australian race measures between 35–40 cm in length and has a wingspan of 55–65 cm.

The adult Dusky Moorhen is mainly dark grey-black, with a browner tinge to the upper plumage.

t has a red frontal shield and yellow-tipped red bill and has orange-yellow legs.

Males and females look alike, but young birds have mid-brown plumage.

Dusky Moorhen (Gallinula tenebrosa) Dusky Moorhen, Gallinula tenebrosa - Chicks

Dusky moorhens, Gallinula tenebrosaCalls / Vocalizations

It's call is described as a loud kruk call.

Diet / Feeding

They feed on a wide range of plant and animal foods.

Breeding / Nesting

They build bulky nests at the water's edge.

A clutch consists of 5 - 18 whitish eggs.

They aggressively defend their breeding territories

Dusky Moorhen, Gallinula tenebrosa - Guarding the nesDusky Moorhen (Gallinula tenebrosa) Dusky Moorhen, Gallinula tenebrosa - Adult

Dusky Moorhen, Gallinula tenebrosaDusky Moorhen, Gallinula tenebrosa - Sitting on nestDusky Moorhen

Species Research by Sibylle Johnson

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