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American Purple Gallinule

Porphyrio martinica

Description:

American Purple Gallinule (Porphyrio martinica) displaying unusual (to me) feeding behavior at Green Cay Wetlands, Boynton Beach, Florida. The Purple Gallinule was clinging to a large leaf and using its legs and feet to "grab and hold" the adjoining stems so it could graze on its seeds. << The American Purple Gallinule (Porphyrio martinica) is... in the rail family Rallidae. A medium-sized rail (33 centimetres (13 in) in length) with big yellow feet, purple-blue plumage with a green back, and red and yellow bill. It has a pale blue forehead shield and white undertail. ... The diet of these rails is omnivorous, being known to include a wide variety of plant and animal matter, including seeds, leaves and fruits of both aquatic and terrestrial plants, as well as insects, frogs, snails, spiders, earthworms and fish. >>

Habitat:

The American Purple Gallinule (Porphyrio martinica) is a "swamp hen" in the rail family Rallidae. A medium-sized rail (33 centimetres (13 in) in length) with big yellow feet, purple-blue plumage with a green back, and red and yellow bill. It has a pale blue forehead shield and white undertail. Juveniles are brown overall with a brownish olive back. Their breeding habitat is warm swamps and marshes in southeastern states of the United States and the tropical regions of Central America, the Caribbean and northern South America. This species is resident in southern Florida and the tropics, but most American birds are migratory, wintering south to Argentina. The nest is a floating structure in a marsh. Five to ten eggs are laid. Their coloration is buff with brown spots. The diet of these rails is omnivorous, being known to include a wide variety of plant and animal matter, including seeds, leaves and fruits of both aquatic and terrestrial plants, as well as insects, frogs, snails, spiders, earthworms and fish. They have also been known to eat the eggs and young of other birds. (credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Pu...)

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2 Comments

JackEng
JackEng 8 years ago

Alice,
Thank you! I'm always looking out for behavior I've never observed before - and this was one of those times the secretive Purple Gallinule was out there in the open showing me new feeding tricks... Also seeing its full body out of water was a real treat for me!

alicelongmartin
alicelongmartin 8 years ago

Very nice series!

JackEng
Spotted by
JackEng

Delray Beach, Florida, USA

Spotted on Mar 27, 2012
Submitted on Mar 30, 2012

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