Gallinules are any of several species of marsh birds belonging to the rail family, Rallidae, in the order Gruiformes. Gallinules occur in temperate, tropical, and subtropical regions worldwide. They have long, thin toes that enable them to run over floating vegetation and have a prominent frontal shield – a fleshy plate on the forehead.
The common gallinule (Gallinula chloropus), blackish with a scarlet frontal shield, is called the moorhen or water hen where it occurs in Europe and Africa. Its North American race (G. chloropus cachinnans) is sometimes known as the Florida gallinule.
See also: Moorhen, Purple gallinule, Spot flanked gallinule