13-16" (33-41 cm). Slate gray with black head and neck; ivory bill and forehead topped with red ; red eyes; yellow-green legs extending to big lobed feet; white patches on either side of the tail. Immatures are paler with a duller bill.
Similar Species- Common Moorhen
Calls varied; mostly raucous, grating croaks and cackles.
Breeds from Alaska (casually), east across parts of Canada, and south (locally) to southern Baja California, Gulf Coast, Florida, and portions of Central America. Winters along Pacific Coast, north to southwestern U.S., lower Ohio Valley, and Maryland, and south through southeastern U.S. and Middle America to Panama and probably Colombia.
Eats seeds, roots, and other plant material, insects, snails, small fishes, tadpoles, and other small organisms.
Builds concealed nest over water. Feeds on land and in water. Often found in groups when not breeding.
Both sexes incubate 6- 22 eggs (most often 8-12 in North America) for 23-24 days. Young are tended by both parents, though brood may be divided between them. Young first fly probably at 7-8 wk.
No references are available at this time.