Copyright 2000-2014 by Thomas Zinneman.  All rights reserved.

Purple Gallinule Porphyrio martinica

This rail shares habitat and habits with its plainer relative, the Common Gallinule.  However, unlike its relative, which nests in a wide variety of wetland habitats, the Purple Gallinule prefers swamps or marshes with pickerelweed and lily pads.  The Purple Gallinule breeds in the southeastern portion of the United States and the tropical regions of Central American, the Caribbean, and northern South America.  Except for southern Florida and the tropics, most American birds are migratory, wintering south to Argentina.  They arrive on their breeding grounds in April and depart in September or October.

This species nests throughout Florida, but is locally distributed.  It is a year-round resident of southern Florida.  Birds breeding in the northern portion of the state and the Panhandle are usually migratory.