WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY – HOLEY LAND WMA, FL
This is a photograph of the Common Moorhen taken at the Holey Land Wildlife Management Area at the Broward County-Palm Beach County border off off Okeechobee Road (US-27) in Florida. The camera gear used was a Nikon D90 camera body with a Tamron 28-300mm lens. The Holey Land area is comprised of marshland and storm water treatment pumping stations making it a terrific place for observing bird life.
The Common Moorhen, or Common Gallinule, (Gallinula chloropus) is a bird in the Rallidae family with an almost worldwide distribution. It lives around well-vegetated marshes, ponds, canals and other wetlands.
The Moorhen is a distinctive species, with dark plumage apart from the white undertail, yellow legs and a red facial shield. The young are browner and lack the red shield. It has a wide range of gargling calls and will emit loud hisses when threatened.
This is a common breeding bird in marsh environments and well-vegetated lakes. Populations in areas where the waters freeze, such as southern Canada, the northern USA and eastern Europe, will migrate to more temperate climes. This species will consume a wide variety of vegetable material and small aquatic creatures. They forage beside or in the water, sometimes upending in the water to feed. It is often secretive, but can become tame in some areas. Despite loss of habitat in parts of its range, the Common Moorhen remains plentiful and widespread.