One of the noisiest residents of the marsh, the moorhen – also known as the common gallinule or marsh hen – has a distinctive red beak compared to their cousins, the coots.
Both are part of the rail family and can walk atop aquatic vegetation rather than wade in the marsh. They dabble in the water to feed.
While their range stretches into Canada, those found in Florida generally stick around year-round. They are one of the most common marsh birds you’ll encounter.
Coots have white beaks but their size and fussy vocalizations are very much like the common gallinule. Both are easy to spot in marshes because of their calls.