Moorhen (alae ula)
published:Leigh Okimoto



The moorhen is one of the many endangered birds of Hawaii. The Moorhen's Hawaiian name is alae ula, and is endemic to the islands.


The moorhen or alae ula stands at only13-14 inches tall but is almost extinct. This bird is slate-gray and darker on the neck than anywhere else. Some of its flank feathers were white. Its beak is red and sometimes the tip is yellow. The moorhen's legs are greenish-yellow and the joints are orange.

They build their nests on folded reeds. The Moorhen lays 6-10 eggs. The incubation takes 22 days.


The moorhen eats a variety of different things from plants to animals. The moorhen eats mostly snails, water plants, grasses and mollusks. To the moorhen mollusks are like really lean and tender steak.


The Moorhen lives in many different places. They are mostly found in fresh water ponds, marshes, reservoirs and agriculture sites. Sometimes farmers are surprised to find moorhens in their kalo patches.

Reasons why they are endangered

There are many reasons why they are becoming extinct. The mongoose is eating their eggs and humans are destroying their home. Mosquitoes breed in their water and spread diseases. Also other mammals, reptiles and birds destroy their home.

What is being done to correct the situation

The Moorhen is protected by the endangered species Art and the organizations are creating sanctuaries to increase the population.