Dusky Moorhens are found throughout the eastern half of Australia and in the southern tip of Western Australia. They are predominantly a waterbird and are common where suitable habitat is found.
Their preferred habitats include wetlands, lakes, parks, farm dams, rivers and irrigation areas. They breed during the warmer months, roughly from August through to about March. The nest is an untidy platform of sticks, reeds, grass or bark and is often built in reeds in or near water. They can lay from 7 to 10 eggs.
At a distance they can easily be mistaken for Eurasian Coots, with which they often associate. The red bill and skin on the forehead distinguishes it from the Coots which have white bills and foreheads.