The folks in the Riverwalk Bird Club don't just watch birds. The group includes some excellent photographers.
Nooga.com Outdoors is happy to share their great photos by featuring a Bird of the Week.
This week, we feature a common gallinule, taken by Bret Douglas.
The most widely distributed member of the rail family, the common gallinule inhabits marshes and ponds from Canada to Chile, from northern Europe to southern Africa, and across Asia to the Pacific. Vocal and boldly marked, the species can be quite conspicuous, sometimes using its long toes to walk atop floating vegetation.
—The common gallinule has long toes that make it possible to walk on soft mud and floating vegetation. The toes have no lobes or webbing to help in swimming, but the moorhen is a good swimmer, anyway.
—The common gallinule sometimes lifts its feet out of the water in front of the body while swimming, perhaps to pass over vegetation.
—Newly hatched chicks of the common gallinule have spurs on their wings that help them climb into the nest or grab emergent vegetation.
—Twelve subspecies of the common gallinule are recognized from around the world, most differing only in size or brightness of plumage. One subspecies is found only in the Hawaiian Islands and has been known as the Hawaiian moorhen, or 'alae 'ula.
This information is courtesy of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
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