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The drab, slaty-black plumage of the Dusky Moorhen is relieved only by a handful of white feathers in its undertail, which are flashed conspicuously when the bird is alarmed or while it is feeding on land: the bird spreads its tail and flicking it up and down rapidly. However, the bare parts of the species are far more colourful: it has a reddish-orange shield on its forehead, a bright-red beak with a canary-yellow tip, red legs and red or orange toes that have yellow fringes.
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