Wild Florida Photo - Porphyrio martinica

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Porphyrio martinica


Florida native


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.

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Porphyrio martinica is a member of the Rallidae - Rails & Coots family.

Birds of Florida

   Todd Telander
 A Falcon Field Guide

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Birds of Florida
Each Falcon Field Guide to birds introduces the 180 most common and sought-after species in a state. Conveniently sized to fit in your pocket and featuring full-color, detailed illustrations, these informative guides make it easy to identify birds in a backyard, favorite parks, and wildlife areas. Each bird is accompanied by a detailed listing of its prominent attributes and a color illustration showing its important features. Birds are organized in taxonomic order, keeping families of birds together for easy identification. This is the essential source for the field, both informative and beautiful to peruse.

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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:
Apr 24, 2018

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