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Dusky Moorhen

Dusky Moorhen
Photo Information
Copyright: Colin McQueen (McQueenca) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 131 W: 11 N: 226] (1387)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2011-12-11
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 7D
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/640 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2013-01-17 15:50
Viewed: 2197
Points: 30
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Photo Note
This photo was taken at the public park in Redcliffe. The conditions were sunny and a Monopod was used. Lens was a 300mm c/w 1.4 converter. The photo has bee cropped

Dusky Moorhen
Gallinula tenebrosa

The drab, slaty-black plumage of the Dusky Moorhen is relieved only by a handful of white feathers in its undertail, which are flashed conspicuously when the bird is alarmed or while it is feeding on land: the bird spreads its tail and flicking it up and down rapidly. However, the bare parts of the species are far more colourful: it has a reddish-orange shield on its forehead, a bright-red beak with a canary-yellow tip, red legs and red or orange toes that have yellow fringes.


The Dusky Moorhen is a medium-sized, dark grey-black water bird with a white undertail. It has a red bill with a yellow tip and a red facial shield. Young birds are much duller and browner than adults, with a greenish bill and face shield.

Similar Species

Two other water hen species are similar to the Dusky Moorhen but can be easily distinguished. The similarly-sized Eurasian Coot, Fulica atra, has a white bill and face shield and a red eye. The Purple Swamp Hen, Porphyrio porphyrio, is much larger and has a distinct purple-blue colouring.


The Dusky Moorhen is found from Indonesia through New Guinea to Australia. It is widespread in eastern and south-western Australia, ranging from Cooktown to eastern South Australia and in the southern corner of Western Australia.


The Dusky Moorhen is found in wetlands, including swamps, rivers, and artificial waterways. It prefers open water and water margins with reeds, rushes and waterlilies, but may be found on grasses close to water such as parks, pastures and lawns.


The Dusky Moorhen feeds in the water and on land on algae, water plants and grasses, as well as seeds, fruits, molluscs and other invertebrates. It will also eat carrion (dead animals) and the droppings of other birds. It does not dive when feeding; its tail is always visible above the water when upended.


During breeding season, the Dusky Moorhen forms breeding groups of two to seven birds, with all members defending territory, building nests and looking after young. The shallow platform nests are made of reeds and other water plants over water, among reeds or on floating platforms in open water. Two or more females will lay their eggs in the same nest and all members of the group help to incubate the eggs and feed the young.

Source www.birdlife.org.au

drchoneydew, CeltickRanger, maaciejka, deons has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Nice presentation of this Moorhen! We have them in our waters here in Florida, but not your presentation; "dusky" Find them fascinating and took a film of one feeding once, think I am going to try and find it! Thanks for sharing! Had no idea about "breeding groups" WOW!

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2013-01-17 18:39]

Hello Colin,
What a pretty bird with a very unique looking bill. I have to admit I have never seen one in the wild, so I'll just enjoy looking at your photo.
Nicely composed with good focus and beautiful natural coloration. Well done!!

Hello Colin

Beautiful close-up photo of the Moorhen with its
reflection on the rippled water rendering the
photo more beautiful, great details of its dark plumage, TFS


Hello Colin,
Excellent capture my friend,lovely natural colours and details,excellent POV and very well composed image a Dusky Moorhen.

Hi Colin,
very good photo of this bird in water environment. Nice natural colours. Very good composition.
Thanks for sharing,

Hello Colin
Nice photo with excellent composition and wonderful colors.

  • Great 
  • deons Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 58 W: 0 N: 55] (595)
  • [2013-01-17 22:20]

Hi Colin,
Lovely shot of the moorhen.
I love the reflection and the ripples on the water.

美麗的漣漪 一圈圈很有加強力

Ciao Colin, great capure of lovely galinula, beautiful reflections, wonderful colors, fine details and splenddi sharpness, very well done, my friend, have a good week end, ciao Silvio

Hello Colin,
Nice picture my friend.Natural colour and nice POV.I like it.
Kind regards,

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2013-01-17 23:22]

Hello Colin
beautiful duck with the bright red beak.
the colors stood out well frlm the dusky feathers and grey background.


  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2013-01-18 0:18]

Hello Colin,
Your series of birds from Australia are more than welcome here. There aren't much photographers from that part of the world. I enjoy it every day.
This is another fantastic photo of this series. Beautiful light, colours and very good sharpness and details. Nice reflection on the water. Taken from an excellent POV.

Hi Colin,
a pretty nice picture of this moorhen, not easy to get right exposure of a almost black bird.
But you managed well, we can see details in the plumage, I wish only it was a bit sharper and maybe a tiny more space behind the bird.
Otherwise it's a nice picture.
Well done.


Hello Colin,
reflection, colour and composition is fantastic.
great picture.
best wishes,

hello Colin
very nice and sharpness composition with good details and beautiful naturel colours
thanks greeting lou

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