The familiar moorhen of home waters is also not uncommon in India, though not so familiar or widely distributed as the white-breasted water-hen ; its scarlet forehead-patch and white
under-tail feathers, contrasting with its dark plumage, are quite as distinctive of it here as in Europe. Yearling birds, however, are lighter in colour and have no red on the head, though they show the white stern. The Bengali name is Dakah-paira, and the Telugu Jumbu- or Boli-kodi.
Moorhens breed in India, making a large nest among aquatic herbage; the eggs are spotted with chestnut and mauve on a greyish-buff ground, and as many as nine may be laid. The food bill of this bird is as extensive as that of the common hen, insects, worms, herbages, and grain, all being consumed. It is not often eaten, but goes well enough if the rank and greasy skin is removed. The note is very characteristic, a harsh kur-rek ; the flight heavy and low by day as a rule, though at night the bird travels long distances.