American Purple Gallinule
This article is about the (American) Purple Gallinule, (Porphyrio martinica). For information on the Purple Gallinule (Porphyrio porphyrio), see Purple Swamphen.
The American Purple Gallinule (Porphyrio martinica) is a "swamp hen" in the rail family Rallidae.
This medium-sized rail is unmistakable, with its huge yellow feet, purple-blue plumage with a green back, and red and yellow bill. It has a pale blue forehead shield and white undertail.
Young birds are brown rather than purple. These gallinules will fly short distances with dangling legs.
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. It has also been known to eat the eggs and young of other birds.
This species is a very rare vagrant to western Europe. There is a similar species in southern Europe, the Purple Swamphen, Porphyrio porphyrio, but that bird is much larger.
Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
Kaufman, Kenn; Lives of North American Birds. Houghton Mifflin Company, New York, NY (1996).
American Purple Gallinule videos on the Internet Bird Collection
Stamps with RangeMap
American "Purple Gallinule" photo gallery VIREO
Purple Gallinule: Photos, vocalizations, notes from The Birds of the Interior of Ceara, Brazil.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article American Purple Gallinule