Common moorhen

(Gallinula chloropus)
It is a cosmopolitan species, found in large numbers in Romania.

Distribution of the species

It is a cosmopolitan species, found in large numbers in Romania. In Bulgaria it is found as a permanent species, migratory, transient or wintering species.

Description of the species (biological and ecological features)

In Bulgaria, the Common moorhen reaches dimensions up to 34 cm and a wingspan of 52 cm. There is age-related dimorphism. In adults, the neck and chest have black-gray plumage, and the upper body is olive brown. The abdomen is dark gray and the underside is white. The forehead has a bright red horny plate. The juveniles are brownish-brown at the top and dark gray at the bottom. The chin is whitish, the chest on the sides and the abdomen are yellow-brown. the horny plate in young specimens is small.

Inhabits wetlands both in valleys and in foothills up to about 1000 m. During migrations it occurs singly in plain reservoirs.

Conservation status


Conservation state

The Common moorhen is listed in Annex II to Directive 2009/147 / EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 November 2009 on the conservation of wild birds.

The species is included in Annex 3 of the Biodiversity Act (BDA), as well as in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) – with the category “Least Concern” (LC).


*Note: For the description of birds is used information from: Golemanski, V. & al. (eds). 2015. Red Data Book of the Republic of Bulgaria. Vol. 2. Animals. BAS & MoEW, Sofia [English ed.: ISBN 978-954-9746-22-8 (IBER – BAS), 978-954-8497-18-3 (MoEW)]; Michev T., D. Simeonov, L. Profirov. 2012. Birds of the Balkan Peninsula. Ecotan, Sofia, 300 pp; the website of the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature).