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Moorhens (Gallinula chloropus), sometimes called marsh hen or river chicken, are members of the rail family Rallidae and are blackish with a red and yellow beak and long, green legs. The toes are lobed, not webbed. The Moorhen appears mostly black, but a closer look reveals blackish-brown upperparts and grey-black below. The moorhen is found on all continents, except Australia and Antarctica. The moorhen is a good swimmer and diver but has long-toed, unwebbed feet. These large, chicken-like feet enable it to walk on floating vegetation and climb through dense clumps of emergent vegetation. It rarely flies, but when forced to, it flutters away, barely skimming the water, half running, half flying along the surface, then it suddenly drops into the marsh. When flying from pond to pond, flight is strong and direct. The common moorhen is also known as the American gallinule.
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