Common Moorhen

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)

Location: Recent sightings confined to Kranji Marsh, Lorong Halus and West Coast Marsh.

Past records in our database:

Showing only accepted records. Note that records currently under review are also not displayed, and the list may not be a full list of records of this species in Singapore. For more details, check the database 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.

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