Purple Gallinule, Boynton Beach FL

From West Palm Beach to Miami, the southeast coast of Florida is solid city, as near as I can tell: One municipality merges into another with no break. That’s what makes their wetland centers even more impressive.

Green Cay is one such, with 1.5 miles of boardwalk wending through swamp and scrubland. It’s great for birdwatching. The only downside for photography is that you’re usually above the birds or at quite a distance from them.

The purple gallinule is a common bird, but its plumage is no less beautiful for that.

Profile view of purple gallinule in swampy pond.

Overhead view of purple gallinule, foraging


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8 Responses to Purple Gallinule, Boynton Beach FL

  1. Jim Robertson says:

    Always wondered if the extra “bit” above the beak is a quasi-helmet to protect its head when feeding… They certainly are colourful.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Jim – Yeah, I don’t know either. I, Aruba I saw one walking on the water, though – or, at least, on top of a light scattering of plants or lily pads or somesuch. Their feet spread so wide that it’s like having snowshoes.

  2. Tom Watson says:

    My learning for today. I had never heard of a purple gallinule before (neither had my auto-correct it appears). I’d likely thought of it as some kind of chicken.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Tom – That’s not a bad guess – its beak is like a chicken’s, rather than a duck’s – likewise the feet, more or less. And Florida is great for seeing birds I wouldn’t see anywhere else in the USA, as far as I know.

  3. Tom Watson says:

    Obviously, I need to get out more!

  4. The plumage reminds me of the Mediterranean, but, as my mother would have said, “Are you sure you want to wear the red shoes [beak] with that lovely dress?”

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Laurna – LOL. My grandmother had a pair of red shoes and I remember thinking how rich she must be, to afford to have a pair with such restricted usage. Of course, maybe she didn’t restrict their use!

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