Wild Florida Photo
Nature Photography by Paul Rebmann
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Purple gallinules are tropical marsh birds that are year-round residents of peninsular Florida, Brazil, northern areas of South America, and parts of Mexico. Summer range expands along the southeast United States coast from South Carolina to Mississippi, most of Louisiana and eastern Texas. Winters throughout much of Central America.
The relatively large feet and long toes allow this bird to walk on top of lily pads and other water vegetation. Walks like a chicken and swims like a duck. Porphyrio martinica has a dark purple head, neck and underside and green back. Undertail coverts are white. The chicken-like bill is red, tipped with yellow, with a light blue forehead shield. Average length is 33 cm (13 in.) with a 56cm (22 in.) wingspan. Males are larger than females.
The downy chicks start out black. Juveniles are tan instead of purple, with a greenish back, dull bill, dull blue shield and yellow legs. Similar to moorhen, except that the moorhen forehead shield is red and the purple gallinule lacks a white stripe on the side. Coots have only a small white mark on the tail and have a white bill.
For more information on this species, visit the following link:
Cornell Lab of Ornithology All About Birds page for this species
Date record last modified:
Aug 07, 2016