Gallinula – Moorhens

Gallinula means “little hen” in Latin, and birds in this genus are also known as marsh hens

Moorhens are medium sized-water birds closely related to their cousin coots. The short legs with long toes help soften the uneven surfaces and splash water during a water fight. They like to live and peck around marshes and other wetlands, often easier to spot. Activities like running and swimming come naturally to these birds, but unfortunately, they are not the best at flying.

These flightless birds lost their ability to fly (some species might flutter some meters) due to several adaptations associated with a walking ecology over millions of years. Also, research shows that the morphological variations are more extreme in flightless rails (smaller sterna and ribs) when compared with flighted ones.