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Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 11:43 EDT

American Purple Gallinule

The American Purple Gallinule (Porphyrio martinica) is a species of bird of the family Rallidae. It is found in the southeastern states of the USA and the tropical regions of Central America and the Caribbean. In southern Florida and the tropics it is largely resident, but most American birds are migratory and winter in Argentina. Its habitat is warm swamps and marshes.

This bird has purple-blue plumage with a green back and red and yellow bill. There is a pale blue forehead shield and white undertail. It has huge yellow feet. The young are brown rather than purple. The flight is short, with legs dangling.

The diet of the American Purple Gallinule consists of a wide variety of plant (both aquatic and terrestrial) and animal matter. This includes seeds, leaves, fruits, insects, frogs, snails, spiders, earthworms and fish. It may even eat the eggs and young of other birds. The nest is a floating structure in a marsh. The female lays five to ten beige colored eggs with brown spots.

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American Purple Gallinule