Common Moorhen

This species is defined as a Review Species . Please submit your records of this species via our record submission page .

Scientific Name: Gallinula chloropus

Malay Name: Tiung-Air Biasa

Chinese Name: 黑水鸡

Range: A widespread species found globally except in Antarctica and Australasia.

Taxonomy: Polytypic. Subspecies are: chloropus, meridionalis, pyrrhorrhoa, orientalis, guami.

Local Subspecies: orientalis

Size: 30-35 cm

Identification: Adult has overall dark plumage with contrasting white line along flanks and lateral undertail-coverts, yellow-tip red bill, distinctive red frontal shield and greenish-yellow legs/feet. Male is larger than female. Juvenile has duller overall plumage than adult and lacks any red on bill and frontal shield.

Similar looking species: Grey-headed Swamphen, Eurasian Coot

Habitat: Freshwater wetlands.

Behaviour/Ecology: Usually observed feeding while swimming.

Local Status: Uncommon resident

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2019)

Past records in our database:

Showing only accepted records. Records currently under review are also not displayed. For a full list, click here.


BirdLife International. (2019). Gallinula chloropus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019. Accessed on 1 January 2023

Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.