Purple Gallinule

Purple Gallinule

Birds

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

COMMON NAME: purple gallinule
KINGDOM: Animalia
PHYLUM: Chordata
CLASS: Aves
ORDER: Gruiformes
FAMILY: Rallidae
GENUS SPECIES: Porphyrula (purple) martinica (Island of Martinique)

FAST FACTS

DESCRIPTION: Large, duck-like water bird with short wings and tail; short, thick bill, red eyes and red bill with yellow tip; light blue frontal shield above bill; yellow legs and feet; purple head, neck, breast and belly; green back and upper wings
SIZE: 26.25 cm (10.5 in); wingspan 52.5 cm (21 in)
WEIGHT: 250-260 g (8.75-9.1 oz)
DIET: Plant and animal matter such as snails, insects and molluscs
INCUBATION: 18 days
CLUTCH SIZE 2-6 eggs
SEXUAL MATURITY: Some studies show 3 years, other show 3 months; full adult eye color and face and neck coloration are not reached until 20-24 months old
LIFE SPAN: 22 years
RANGE: Typically southeastern US to Argentina; rarely as far north as Nova Scotia
HABITAT: Freshwater swamps, marshes, and ponds
POPULATION: GLOBAL No data
STATUS: IUCN Not listed
CITES Not listed
USFWS Not listed

FUN FACTS

1. These birds use a hen like cackling sound "kek, kek, kek" to communicate when flying.
2. Gallinules, when young, crawl on bushes and out of the nest using tiny claws on their wing tips.
3. Gallinule's long toes make it possible to walk on lily pads - one of the few birds able to do so!
4. Although these birds seem like reluctant fliers, they are found around the world.

ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION

No data

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Reader's Digest. Book of North American Birds. Reader's Digest Association, Inc. Pleasantville, New York, 1990.

Perrins, C.M. and Alex Middleton. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Birds. New York: Prentice Hall Press, 1990.

Williams, John G. A Field Guide to the Birds of East and Central Africa. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, 1963

mbr-pwrc.usgs.gov/id/framlst/i2180id.html