Purple Gallinule Life History


Habitat MarshesFreshwater marshes with dense stands of floating vegetation.Back to top


Food OmnivoreSeeds, flowers, fruits, grains, and some invertebrates.Back to top


Nest Placement

Nest Floating

Nest Description

Bowl of grasses on floating mat of vegetation or attached to emergent vegetation.

Nesting Facts
Egg Description:Creamy white with small, irregular brown spots.
Condition at Hatching:Covered with black down, leave nest within one day. Fed by parents.
Back to top


Behavior Ground ForagerBack to top


Conservation Low ConcernPurple Gallinule populations declined by over 3% per year across their range between 1966 and 2014, resulting a cumulative loss of 83%, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. The North American Waterbird Conservation Plan lists Purple Gallinule as a Species of Hugh Concern in North America, and rates it a 14.5 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score. The 2014 State of the Birds Report listed the species as a Common Bird in Steep Decline. Back to top


Kushlan, J. A., M. J. Steinkamp, K. C. Parsons, J. Capp, M. A. Cruz, M. Coulter, I. Davidson, L. Dickson, N. Edelson, R. Elliott, R. M. Erwin, S. Hatch, S. Kress, R. Milko, S. Miller, K. Mills, R. Paul, R. Phillips, J. E. Saliva, W. Sydeman, J. Trapp, J. Wheeler and K. Wohl (2002). Waterbird conservation for the Americas: The North American waterbird conservation plan, version 1. Washington, DC, USA. 

Lutmerding, J. A. and A. S. Love. Longevity records of North American birds. Version 2015.2. Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Bird Banding Laboratory 2015.

North American Bird Conservation Initiative. 2014. The State of the Birds 2014 Report. US Department of Interior, Washington, DC, USA.

Sauer, J. R., J. E. Hines, J. E. Fallon, K. L. Pardieck, Jr. Ziolkowski, D. J. and W. A. Link. The North American Breeding Bird Survey, results and analysis 1966-2013 (Version 1.30.15). USGS Patuxtent Wildlife Research Center 2014b. Available from http://www.mbr-pwrc.usgs.gov/bbs/.

Sibley, D. A. (2014). The Sibley guide to birds, second edition. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, USA.

West, Richard L. and Gene K. Hess. 2002. Purple Gallinule (Porphyrio martinica), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA.

Back to top