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Purple Gallinule

Porphyrio martinicus


A purple gallinule doing what a purple gallinule does, walking atop the lilies like a man on solid ground. The gallinule is in the order of cranes, crakes, and rails, itself a rail. Note the bright blue forehead shield, that's how you can tell this species apart from the common gallinule. Their long legs and toes are anisodactyl, which means they have a toe behind the heel), which allows them to grip plant stems.


These birds are found in the southeastern states of the United States during the breeding season. They are resident species in southern Florida, the Gulf and Pacific coast of Mexico, parts of Central America, and the Caribbean. During the non-breeding season, they are found more inland in parts of Central America. This species exhibits vagrancy more than any other species of rail, being found as far west as California and the Galapagos, as far north as Iceland, as far down as Tierra del Feugo, and as far east as Great Britain. For being short fliers, these birds get around.

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The GeoDex
Spotted by
The GeoDex

Florida, United States

Spotted on Jun 5, 2021
Submitted on Jun 5, 2021

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