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American Purple Gallinule | Porphyrio martinicus

The American Purple Gallinule is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Rallidae bird family group which includes birds such as Flufftails, Rails, Crakes, Gallinules, Swamphens, Moorhens, Coots.

The description for the American Purple Gallinule (Latin name Porphyrio martinicus) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Porphyrio martinicus can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 225 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 333. You will find a picture of the American Purple Gallinule on page 305.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. The Latin name for this bird is Porphyrula martinica in the Roberts 6th Edition.

The American Purple Gallinule has a height of 36 cms and weighs around 230 gms. The head is coloured purple, blue while the bill is coloured red. The Porphyrio martinicus has a grey coloured throat, yellow legs and a purple, blue coloured back. The eyes are brown.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is purple, blue

Eyes are brown

Bill is red

Legs are yellow

Throat is grey

Back is purple, blue

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

This bird has a specially adapted bill which helps it hunt for fish, crabs, shrimp and other aquatic animals in the water.

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The American Purple Gallinule is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 1 to 2 eggs and they are coloured brown.

The nest is built high up in the tree canopy and is protected from predators by branches and the dense green foligae.

The American Purple Gallinule is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

The bird is mainly found in the Savanna grasslands where it breeds and feeds.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The American Purple Gallinule is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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