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American purple gallinule

Porphyrio martinica


The American Purple Gallinule is a "swamp hen" in the rail family Rallidae. This is a medium-sized rail, males are slightly larger than females. The adult Purple gallinule has 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. Darkness or low light can dim the bright purple-blue plumage of the adult to make them look dusky or brownish, although the forehead shield color differentiates them from similar species such as Common Moorhens. 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.


Green Cay FL

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KarenL 8 years ago

Thanks for the kind comments guys!

LucBertrand 8 years ago

What an incredible bird!! I'm jealous! and very nice pictures !!!!

gatorfellows 8 years ago

What a nice series. I just learned about this bird a few months ago.

Hema 8 years ago

lovely bird!

Maria dB
Maria dB 8 years ago

love the second shot!

KarenL 8 years ago

I think he was Brandon! It was pouring rain all day yesterday so some of my pics aren't the best but this little guy was a very good model!

BrandonBlount 8 years ago

Awesome Series Karen!!! My Favorite is the fifth image. It looks like it's checking you out to see what exactly you are and why are you staring at it. LOL

Spotted by

West Palm Beach, Florida, USA

Spotted on May 22, 2012
Submitted on May 23, 2012

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