, מקורה ומצחה אדומים, פס לבן לאורך גופה הכהה
. זנבה זקור ושתה לבן
. רגליה ירוקת וירכיה אדומות, קצה מקורה צהוב
. בזמן מעופה נבדלת מהאגמיה בחוסר פס הכנף הלבן
. מרבה לשחות, תוך כדי הנעת צוארה קדימה ואחורה, לעיתים צוללת
. בית גידולה ביצות ומקווי מים מתוקים עטורי צמחיה סבוכה
. תרה אחרי מזונה במשטחי עשב וצמחיה ליד מים
. בארץ יציבה וחורפת במקוי מים בכל מרחבי הארץ
Subspecies and Distribution.
G. c. chloropus Europe, N Africa, Azores, Canaries and Cape Verde Is. W C S Asia to Japan, Sri Lanka and Malaysra.
N populations winter to Mediterranean, sub Saharan and S Asia.
G. c. meridionalis sub Saharan Africa and St Helena. G. c. pyrrhorrhoaMadagascar, Reunion, Mauritius and Comoros Is.
G. c. orientalis Seychelles, Andamans, Malaysia to Philippines and Palau Is G. c. guami Northern mariana Is.
G. c. cachinnaus Canada, USA through Central America to Panama, also Bermuda and Galapagos.
G. c. sandvicensis Hawaiian Is. G. c. cerceris Greater and Lesser Antilles G. c. barbadensis Barbados.
G. c. pauxilla E Panama, Colombia, Ecuador and peru G. c. garmani Andes of Peru, Chile, Bolivia and Argentina.
G. c. galeata Trinidad and the Guianas through Brazil to N Argentina and Uruguay.
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30-40 cm, 173-490 g, wingspan 50-55. Medium sizde Moorhen, plumage appearing essentially black at any distance, with prominent yellow tipped red bill and red frontal shield, prominent white line along top of flanks, and white lateral undertail coverts renderd obvious by constantly flicking of tail. Legs and feet bright yellow-green to yellow, upper half of tibia orange.
Sexes similar, but female smaller. Juvenile has crown, hindneck and upperparts brown to grey.
New World birds mostly have truncated shield, top almost square and widest near top. Old World birds have elliptical shield, widest in middle and with rounded top. Races meridionalis and orientalis smaller with slaty blue grey upperwing coverts but without the olive wash. pyrrhorrhoa has buff undertail coverts. guami darker than nominate. cachinnans like nominate but has differet shield shape and relatively long bill, tarsus and toes. cerceris has less brown on upperparts than cachinnans . sandvecensis has lare frontal shield and red on front of tarsus. pauxilla smaller than cachinnans with greyer brown upperparts.
Wide range of natural and man-made freshwater wetlands with fringing emergent vegetation. Occurs on both still and moving water, tolerant of wide range of climatic conditions but vulnerable to freezing. Avoids oligotrophic or gravel pits.
Requires ready access to some open fresh water with adequate plant cover, prefers waters sheltered by woodland or tall emergent plants. Avoids very open sites, especially those exposed to wind and wave action.
Food and Feeding
Omnivorous, proportions of plant and animal food vary. Plants include filamentous algae, vegetative parts andgrasses, seeds and various orchard fruits.
Animal foods include earth worms, crustaceans, insects, small fish, tadpoles and occasionally eggs of birds. Also takes carrion.
Feeds while swimming and while walking on floating vegetation. Gleans insects, seeds and fruits from ground and plants, often clambers over leaves and stems. Climbs and perches well.
Europe Mar-Aug, E Africa, all year peakinf in wet months. C Africa, Feb-Spt. S Africa all months. N America Apr-Jun.
Monogamous and territorial, territory may be permanent. Pair bond sometimes maintained for several years.
Nest saucer-shaped or more substantial, of twigs, reeds, rushes and sedges,with shallow to deep cup, often built in emergent vegetation.
Both sexes build, helped by other group members. 5-7 eggs, incubation 17-22 days, by both sexes. Black downy chick has bare skin of crown rose-red and blue, legs and feet black. Swim well by 3rd day and dive at 8 days. Fed and cared for by both parents. Age of first breeding 1 year.
In W Palearctic, resident or dispersive, in S and extreme W, partially migratory.
British and French populations resident but both receive winter migrants from NW Europe. Winter range of emigrant Russian birds, and extent of dispersal by Near East birds unknown. In North America most of E population migratory, wintering along coast and S to Panama, West Indies and possibly South America .
Status and Conservation.
Not globally threatened. Most races at least locally common.
Israel. In Israel subspecies G. c. chloropus. Common breeder, very common winter passenger and summer visitor, in wetlands throughout country.