Purple Gallinule

Porphyrio martinicus




Rails, Gallinules and Coots (Rallidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Pink or buff marked with brown

Number of Eggs:

5 - 10

Incubation Days:

22 - 25

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

On ground., Near or over water.

Nest Material:

Made of dead stems., Leaves and grasses.





Purple Gallinule: Medium-sized, chicken-like marsh bird with purple-blue upperparts washed with iridescent green, and deep blue underparts. Forehead is pale blue; bill is red and yellow-tipped. Undertail coverts are solid white. Legs are yellow with very long toes. Sexes are similar. Juvenile has scaled olive-brown upperparts, pale brown underparts, and dark bill. Pumps head when swimming.

Range and Habitat

Purple Gallinule: Found in the south Atlantic and Gulf states, and casually as far northward as Maine, New York, Wisconsin, and south throughout the West Indies and coastal regions of Mexico, Central America, and northern South America to Brazil. Preferred habitats include lakes, pools, waterways, and wet marshes.

Breeding and Nesting

Purple Gallinule: Five to ten pink or buff eggs marked with brown are laid in a nest made of dead stems and leaves, and built low above the water among dense rushes. Incubation ranges from 22 to 25 days.

Foraging and Feeding

Purple Gallinule: Diet consists of invertebrates, frogs, aquatic vegetation, seeds, and berries; forages while walking along the shoreline, wading, and swimming.


Purple Gallinule: Makes a hen-like cackling "kek, kek, kek" when flying; also emits guttural notes. Young "mew" like kittens.

Similar Species

Purple Gallinule: Common Gallinule has white flank stripes, is gray-brown, and lacks pale blue forehead shield.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Undertail covertsX
Small feathers that cover the areas where the retrices (tail feathers) attach to the rump.
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X