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This small water bird with lobed silvery/grey feet and its 

distinctive white “shield” above its beak                        and shiny black/sooty grey feathers

 is often confused with a moorhen.

The moorhen has a red”shield”

 An easy way to remember is the moorhen 

has an “R” in its name.

They feed on aquatic plants like duckweed and grasses and also snails and larvae and some soft seeds.

They are 36 to 38cm in length.

 They have a wingspan of between 70 and 80cm.

 They weigh in at around 600 to 900g

There are 31,000 breeding pairs in the uk.