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Wild Florida Photo - Gallinula galeata - Common Gallinule

Gallinula galeata (Lichtenstein, 1818)

Common Gallinule
Florida Gallinule
(common Moorhen)

Synonym(s): Gallinula chloropus

Florida native

Volusia Co. FL 12/20/07
Brevard Co. FL 08/23/18
Brevard Co. FL 08/23/18
Brevard Co. FL 08/23/18
Alachua Co. FL 01/14/17
Seminole Co. FL 12/01/13
Seminole Co. FL 12/01/13
Polk Co. FL 05/11/11
Polk Co. FL 05/11/11
Volusia Co. FL 12/20/07

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A common bird of freshwater and brackish marshes, ponds, lakes and canals year-round throughout all of Florida. The year-round range includes much of Mexico and the southeastern gulf coast up into North Carolina. Also isolated areas of the southwestern United States. Migration and breeding in much of the eastern United States up to the southern Great Lakes.
Similar to a coot, especially on the water, this gallinule is slightly smaller than a coot and adults have a distinctive red face shield and upper bill with a light tip. They also have a white flank stripe and the white on the tail is larger than on a coot. Legs are greenish with a band of red at the base in adults, long toes allow walking on floating vegetation. Appearing overall dark, they are actually two-toned with the front and lower half more bluish-gray and the upper back and tail brownish. Juvenile gallinules and coots look very similar.
The common gallinule (Gallinula galeata) of the Americas and Hawaii was split from the eastern hemisphere's common moorhean (Gallinula chloropus) by the American Ornithologists' Union in July 2011.

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Gallinula galeata is a member of the Rallidae - Rails & Coots family.


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: Dec 07, 2023


Paul Rebmann Nature Photography at pixels.com