Are you ready for more cute bird babies? The Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) chicks at Forest Farm Nature Reserve last Friday were the first I’d seen, so I just had to take lots of photos of them. They looked a lot like coot chicks to me, except perhaps with even bigger feet!
According to the RSPB website there are around 270,000 breeding pairs in Britain so the chances of seeing them are fairly good, especially in lowland areas. The adults build a nest on the ground, in amongst thick shrubs for protection, and lay between 5 and 8 eggs that take about three weeks to incubate, with both male and female taking turns on the nest.
The parents also share the feeding of their offspring, though the chicks are able to feed themselves after a few days, and are fully fledged 6 to 7 weeks after hatching. A few weeks after that, the chicks head off on their own and the parents will often raise a second brood. That sounds like an awful lot of moorhens in the making but, sadly, as with most birds, predators take their toll.
If you want to know more about moorhens, I found a delightful article online here. Meantime, I hope my photos make you smile as much as I did while watching these little cuties.