Moorhen in our garden

A moorhen suddenly arrived in our garden 3 weeks ago and has been here ever since. There is no pond or water around here apart from the one about 3 miles away. I feed a variety of birds in the garden and provide feed for them all, ranging from sunflower seeds, peanuts, suet, and mealworms. Although Maurice (yes we named him this!) is a delight to watch during the day, I am concerned as the days/weeks go by that it is not in the right habitat and am worried that it is not getting sufficient food. Or is it simply 'lost'?

Maurice will sit quite happily in the rhododendron bush during the day and it is getting quite used to me putting the feed out for the birds and does not run off like he used to. Every night he flies up into the large yew trees we have at the bottom of our garden for the night and he emerges again in the morning at feeding time and for a bath. I have provided him with a large deep tray for his bathing which he enjoys - once an old cat litter tray that used to belong to my dear old cat. Is this type of behaviour normal for a moorhen and will it return 'home' soon? I do hope so, although I become rather fond of him!     

  • With so much rain around, it is possible its ideal habitat has been created all around. They do wander, and eat berries and seeds, so if there is a food supply, there's no need to move away before Spring.
  • Many thanks for your reply Robbo, I had better get more mealworms in!!
  • The Moorhens at nearby small nature reserve regularly visit the small birds feeding station, jump up on tables & help themselves to the various seeds!

     

     2013 photos & vids here

    eff37 on Flickr

  • Thanks Wendy, I have many hanging feeding stations which are always busy, but not tables - and it doesn't deter the doves from getting on them either!
  • Moorhens at NR not mastered the hanging feeders with those big feetz!
    Btw, welcome to the community, do keep us updated on your garden birds & Maurice!

     

     2013 photos & vids here

    eff37 on Flickr

  • In reply to WendyBartter:

    Thank you for all your replies - I really do appreciate this and I certainly will keep you posted.
  • If you have any pics to post but don't know how to then just shout for help!

     

     2013 photos & vids here

    eff37 on Flickr

  • In reply to WendyBartter:

    Hello all, I just thought I would update you on our moorhen who came into our garden back in October last year.

    Robbo - you were right about the likelihood that he may stay until Spring! In fact, it was only yesterday that I noticed he wasn't around for his feeding, so I suppose having wintered in our garden for 4 months, he decided that enough was enough and it was time to go.

    Maurice (as we called him or her!) has been a constant delight to watch and has kept us all entertained with his antics over the past few months.
    He had become quite territorial and often amused us when trying to ward off the blackbirds and starlings, especially when they used HIS bath and heaven help the wood pigeons when they attempted to eat HIS food. We loved it when he ran at them flapping his wings trying to chase them off, but more often than not, they didn't bat an eyelid!
    Although Maurice was very timid, he became quite tame towards me and wasn't frightened when I went out at all, even when other birds flew away. He would hide in the undergrowth waiting for his special mix of mealworms, seeds, raisins, and crumbled suet which I would throw for him under his favourite rhododendron bush. Every evening he could be seen higher up in the branches of this bush, soaking up the last rays of the sun. Late evening he would fly up into our yew trees for the night. Although I miss him I am glad he finally decided to leave in the search of a hopeful mate
  • Thanks for that lovely update Marion, hope he/she has successful brood & comes back to yours to overwinter & be cossetted again!

     

     2013 photos & vids here

    eff37 on Flickr