Purple Gallinule


The Purple Gallinule is well appreciated for its iridescent purple, blue and teal feathers. Initially as a photographer of birds, I found these guys hard to find, sometimes just a flash of iridescent color you think you saw amid a field of green. But over time they have graced my viewfinder many times. They never fail to mesmerize the senses with such opulent beauty. And those long yellow toes so well suited to climbing the thin flower stalks of the aquatic Fire Flag plant only add to the pleasing color palette. I couldn’t resist putting these images up for another of its brilliant features so close to Halloween—-its red and yellow ‘candy corn’ beak!! Perfect eh? Candy corn…a Halloween classic…still is right, or am I showing my age?

The first image with the bird against the large leaves of Fire Flag, I though lent itself well to trying some paint filters with it. The leaves in the capture shot looked very tropical and evocative but with distracting elements. The paint filters tend to smooth out the natural roughness as would be if a painter painted the leaves. I have always found that a painted dried up leaf or one with a hole in it or brown edges looked much more artistic when painted than photographed. At least sometimes. So you might notice the artistic rendering, though I kept wanting to control the brush stroke instead of being at the mercy of what the filters could do. There is motion in the scene with the lower foot and wings as the bird moves down the flower stalk to the water where the Fire Flag flower is.

Shots two and three are of the bird further down the stalk closer to the water, the third image being a close up view of the bird in order to better see its face and some detail.

More on the Purple Gallinule HERE






May the Purple Gallinule usher in a lovely Fall Sunday Morning!



~ by Judy on October 28, 2018.

30 Responses to “Purple Gallinule”

  1. Hey, my favourite bird, even though we don’t see them in East Anglia. They’re just so colourful; something you have captured so well.

    • Hard not to appreciate this colorful bird. They are very quick and fun to watch especially when they are nibbling on the Fire Flag flowers. The have a virtual trapeze to walk getting to them.

      • They sound fun to watch, as well. And maybe now we have LIttle Egret breeding, these purple birds will follow. I think the nearest we have to them is the moorhen, aka Jesus Bird cos when alarmed they ‘walk on water’. Or is that the coot? I always get the two confused.

  2. Oh wow, such iridescent feathers, gorgeous captures, Judy. We have nothing so shimmery here apart from the Grackle. Best,Babsje

    • Yeah Grackles, humble as they are, still blow us away with that iridescence they have. Even Audubon described that incredible shimmery beauty. Yeah shimmery is a great word. 🙂

      • I agree. The name Grackle tickles me for some reason., Also, the European Starlings here have shimmery plumes, but not nearly as striking. Best, Babsje

      • Yeah I feel the same way about that name. Some consider them a nuisance bird when they are in parking lots or hanging around grocery stores. But, they are always beautiful to watch in the sun. Though I like them best out in some wetland against the colors of green leaves.

  3. Candy corn’s still a thing, Judy. A Jewish friend of mine was just complaining on Facebook about a bakery that put candy corn in the challah for the holiday!

    • Oh good!! I like candy corn remembering the taste though its been many moons since I’ve had any. Too funny on the candy corn in the challah!! Guess we have to acquiesce to these fun childhood traditions no matter chat. Its festive.

  4. Wow! Great photographs, Judy. He’s gorgeous!
    I always loved candy corn…especially the chocolate! 🙂

  5. Judy, Great images. Bird looks hyper-saturated (if that is a word)!! Jack

    • Well if its not a word, its one I’d use too. In fact when doing black and whites I’ve commented that they were respite from our hyper-saturated world. Digital displays of all kinds seem to do that to us. The bird though is pretty darn gloriously naturally very colorful!

  6. The Purple Gallinule looks so much more gentrified here compared to the one in your 2014 post. The paint filters you used really work well.

    • Nice to get other eyes on it and see that it looked ok. The oil paint filter alone I liked but it was a little more smeared that I liked for the bird, so its a mix of things with more paint on the leaves and less on the bird. I generally do like what the paint filters do to leaves though…makes them less ragged and the colors blend. I appreciate the input.

  7. Beautiful shots of this beautiful bird!!

  8. Moorhens and coots we have. The purple gallinule’s around, but it’s not one I see. I think if I crossed the bay over to Anahuac, I’d have better luck, since the ponds there are filled with more water lilies, lotus, and so on. There are other water plants that aren’t so common on this side of the bay, too. It’s amazing how much difference even a small distance can make. I think as the grackle flies, it’s only about thirty miles across Galveston Bay to Anahuac.

    It is a beautiful bird, and the candy-corn bill is right on target. I did see two moorhens this weekend, and that’s exactly what their bills made me think of! Now I want candy corn, too. The Vermont Country store had the old fashioned kind that includes the corn on the cob, the big corn kernels, pumpkins and squash and all that — but they’ve sold out!

    • Oh. I got so excited thinking about candy corn I forgot to mention how hard it is to see any birds around here right now. There’s so much water everywhere because of our substantial rains that the birds are spread out. The marshes and agricultural fields and ditches are full to overflowing. When you look out over the landscape, you can see the occasional heron or egret n the middle of what ought to be a patch of prairie or a maize field.

    • I think the depth of the water has a lot to do with what species live there. Deeper water is for the plunging birds, but the wading birds and those which scamper on the lily pads generally are found in shallower water at the edges of things. Besides candy corn I LOVE black licorice. Ever see the old Black Jack gum?

  9. Beautiful bird an captures. What kinda a camera? I had a nikromat all manual 35mm body had all through college then lost track of it a some point in my travels.

    • Thank you, I am glad you like the prettiest swamp chicken!! Umm, the camera is the Canon 5D Miii with a 300mm prime lens. Sometimes I use a 7D and the smaller sensor gets me closer at times to the subject. This being a crop might have benefited from the 7D that day. Both are good cameras. My son uses a Sony mirrorless and it produces wonderful results, times are changing.

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