The Gallinule is primarily found in the tropics, but does find its way into the lower gulf states. The Savannah Refuge is the most northern area where they are routinely found, although they have been seen as far north as southern Canada.. Their habitat is typically freshwater marsh, preferably with dense floating vegetation such as lily pads. They can be seen walking on top of the vegetation, using their extremely long toes to avoid sinking. They prefer walking to swimming and are shaky fliers. Their bill is triangular like a chicken rather than flat like ducks. Their nests are a bowl of grass on floating mat vegetation. The eggs are creamy white with brown spots. Chicks are black and leave the nest within a day. Juveniles are buffy tan. Their food is seed and small invertebrates.
The striking thing about this bird is its beautiful coloration. Adult males and females are very similar, with the male having slightly more intense hues. Their head and underparts are a deep violet purple, the back is bronzy green. The tail is white, and legs are yellow, and are very visible in flight. The bill is red with a yellow tip, and the forehead shield is a light blue. My first view of the bird I can only describe as stunning. The only thing I can compare to is the Painted Bunting. With all this bright coloration, one would think that they are easily seen, but the bronzy green back blends almost perfectly with the color of the lily pads which they prefer.You can see how they blend with the environment in the photos below. I feel blessed to have seen this bird, another of God’s striking gifts to the world. But we need to do what we can to protect them. Since 1966, the world population has decreased 83%, and they are a species of high concern in the U.S. I hope you can visit this site to enjoy this species. I hope you like the photos below as much as I enjoyed taking them.