Thursday, January 18, 2018

Crops & Clips: Purple Gallinule

The Purple Gallinule is a Florida favorite. It was one of those species in my bird book whose picture looked so exotic and which, as a kid in New Jersey, I hoped one day to see. It took a while, but I finally set eyes on one in Avery Island, Louisiana, in 1967. Here in south Florida it is easy to find them in the right places, especially the settling ponds at water treatment plants such as Green Cay Wetlands in Boynton Beach:

Green Cay Nature Center HDR 20150722

This is the nature center and beginning of the boardwalk at Green Cay:

Green Cay Nature Ctr HDR 20150212

Peaceful Waters Park in Wellington is another such location. Here a Purple Gallinule shows off its long toes which allow it to walk across the floating vegetation:

Purple Gallinule 07-20160221

Purple Gallinule 05-20160221

Purple Gallinule 02-20160221

The juvenile can be rather drab. This one was at Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge in Palm Beach County:

Purple Gallinule immature 20150722

The first time I saw this species in our neighborhood Wounded Wetlands was in January, 2015, when a pair showed up. I hoped the pair would breed, but they disappeared after only a week or so:

Purple Gallinule 20150117

One year later, also in January, a single adult Purple Gallinule appeared in the same location. Try as I did, I could not find a second bird. It remained into March:

Purple Gallinule 093-20160318

Purple Gallinule 0991-20160318

This December I saw a juvenile gallinule in the same local wetlands patch. The light was bad and it was rather secretive, so at first I was not sure of its identity. I patiently waited for it to come out into the open. It was eating the flowers and seed of Alligator Flag:

Purple Gallinule immature 09-20171225

Alligator Flag must have its roots in water most of the time, so it is found on the edges of marshes and other persistent bodies of water. In the Everglades, this plant often signals the presence of an alligator hole.

Purple Gallinule immature 08-20171225

The tiny flowers of Alligator Flag rise high above on slender stems and the only way the bird can get up to them is to gather several stalks in each of its huge feet and take advantage of the construction principle of triangulation (the use of triangular shapes to give stability to structures such as buildings and towers-- the Eiffel Tower is a good example). In good light, the beauty of this immature Purple Gallinule is revealed. I love this striking pose:

Purple Gallinule immature 03-20171225

= = =  = = =  = = = =  = = = = =

Linking to Misty's  CAMERA CRITTERS,

Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,

Linking to SKYWATCH FRIDAY by Yogi, Sylvia and Sandy


Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni

Linking to Our World Tuesday by Lady Fi 

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart

Linking to Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday) by NC Sue

Linking to ALL SEASONS by Jesh


Please visit the links to all these memes to see some excellent photos on display



  1. beautiful coloured bird especialyy as the sun picked up so many and varied coours in its plumage Kenneth. Wonderful images. Have a great weekend.

  2. The beauty of Creation is truly overwhelming at times. Something as simple as big toes to enable walking on floating vegetation - wow. Thank you for the blessing of these resplendent photos.

  3. Great reflection and beautiful captured bird. I like it.

  4. Hello, lovely scene and photos. Beautiful reflection. Love the Purple Gallinule images. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend!

  5. Glad you shared your purple gallinule pics today since I have never seen one. Thanks.

  6. Beautiful photos of a very interesting bird!

  7. We love to spot something 'new to us'. I would love to see the Purple Gallinule! Great photos as always!

  8. Why, even your photos of the juveniles are so very well composed! I love 'em all Ken!!

    And, I want to convey my thanks to you for sharing this post with all of us birders from I'd Rather B Birdin' this week!!!

    PS...and thanks for the compliment on my carving of the Carib Hummingbird! Your words were very encouraging.

  9. This bird is so like the Coot but more colorful, and I enjoyed your post of it so much! The juvenile may be "drab" but that last photo was amazingly beautiful! Loved them all though.

  10. I want to hang out there and the bird is beautiful! Have a great week!

  11. The Gallinule is a beautiful bird. I hope to see one someday, too.

  12. What an amazingly beautiful bird! What a treat to have such a great bird near you. And of course, your photos are stunning.

  13. I can imagine you wanted to see the purple Gallinule (what a tongue twister:) ) It's a beautiful bird - I like the last pose the most. But also your first landscape is stunning!! Is it a photo-edit - the shapes are so soft, or is it your lens? Many thanks for spoiling us at All Seasons with such beauty! Have a great week:)

  14. A great place for wonderful captures! We have a similar bird in New Zealand called a pukeko.

  15. Beautiful series of images


  16. Fascinating - gorgeous bird!!
    Thanks for sharing at

  17. Great photo collection of a beautiful bird. We saw several birds for the first ever time at Avery Island... Your mention of it brings back great memories and reminds me of a time when birds we see fairly often now were so exotic I almost couldn’t believe they existed! I still can’t sometimes! Never get tired of them.
    We loved our visit to Green Cay last sprung as well! Saw baby gallinules ...that was a first.

  18. Outstanding photos! I love the shadows and leading lines in the second shot and of course the reflection is excellent!


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