Friday, 16 December 2011
Common Moorhen is a protected bird in the Maldives; hence, their capture, sale and captivity have been prohibited. However, there are no vital conservation measures taken to protect the nesting habitats of Common Moorhen. In order to flourish the Common Moorhen, the exclusive bird of Fuvahmulak, it is vital to protect the habitat of this beautiful and interesting bird and control pests such as rats and cats. Common Moorhen both male and female birds help to build the nest of floating vegetation. Nests of the Moorhen are built on the water or very close by. The male carries the materials and the female arranges them. Nests are also stages for courtship, and it is ritualized and courtship chasing also associated with pair formation.
The Common Moorhen usually lay from five to eleven eggs that are greenish white with spots. However some study shows that the Common Moorhen lays three to four eggs in the tropics. Though no research has been done local people assume that Common Moorhen in Faumulak lays three eggs. In a Common Moorhen nest, more than three eggs can be seen, but sometime wetland bird White-breasted Waterhen (Amaurornis phoenicurus) locally know as Kanbli also lays eggs in the nest of Common Moorhen. It takes between 20 to 21 days for the eggs to hatch. The young take 32 days or two months to fledge.
The Common Moorhen nest has a wide shallow cup in the center for the eggs, may be partly floating. Adults eat the eggshells after the chicks hatch. They feed the chicks soon after hatching, mostly insects and their larvae.