Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Common Gallinule

Common Gallinule
Common Gallinule. Lindo Lake, California. February 9, 2014. Greg Gillson.
Gallinules are anatomically similar to coots, rails, and cranes. While they float around on ponds like ducks, there are many differences. That pointed stout bill is not like the flat spatulate bill of a duck.

Another major difference is that gallinues do not have webbed feet like ducks, geese, and swans.

Common Gallinule

Gallinules are resident birds of southern states (migrating to the East Coast in summer, and also south into South America). In most of North America the similar, but less colorfully-billed, American Coot is quite abundant. If you are familiar with coots, the gallinules tend to be more shy and hide closer to shore among the reeds. The Common Gallinules at Lindo Lake this day, however, were pretty bold, swimming out from protection and even begging food with the tame ducks!

American Coot
American Coot. Lindo Lake, California. February 9, 2014. Greg Gillson.