American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Any of various wading and swimming birds of the family Rallidae, frequenting swampy regions and characteristically having dark iridescent plumage and a red bill tipped with yellow.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A bird of the subfamily Gallinulinæ, and especially of the genus Gallinula. The gallinules, or mud-hens and water-hens, are marsh-birds related to the rails and coots. Some of them are very beautiful in coloration, and are known as sultans and hyacinths, but most are dull-colored like the rails. There are about 30 species, of several genera, inhabiting most parts of the world. The Florida gallinule, or red-billed mud-hen of the United States, is about 13 inches long, with greenish feet, and a general grayish-black color, becoming brownish-olive on the back, pale or whitish on the belly, and white on the edge of the wing, with white stripes on the flank. It is resident in the Southern States aud common along the coast in marshes. The general habits are like those of rails. The purple gallinule is a much handsomer bird, of a different genus, Ionornis martinica, inhabiting the warmer parts of America and the southern Atlantic coast of the United States. The common or black gallinule is locally called in the United States marsh-hen, moor-hen, mud-hen, marsh-pullet, mud-pullet, rice-hen, king-ortolan, king-sora, water-chicken, etc.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Zoöl.) One of several wading birds, having long, webless toes, and a frontal shield, belonging to the family
Rallidae. They are remarkable for running rapidly over marshes and on floating plants. The purple gallinule of America is Ionornis Martinica, that of the Old World is Porphyrio porphyrio. The common European gallinule (Gallinula chloropus) is also called moor hen, water hen, water rail, moor coot, night bird, and erroneously dabchick. Closely related to it is the Florida gallinule (Gallinula galeata).
- n. any of various small aquatic birds of the genus Gallinula distinguished from rails by a frontal shield and a resemblance to domestic hens
- From Latin "Gallinula" (Wiktionary)
- Latin gallīnula, pullet, diminutive of gallīna, hen; see gallinaceous. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“There is the eyebrowed thrush, from Siberia, the American purple gallinule, from the southern states of the US, and the black-throated thrush, also from Siberia.”
“American purple gallinule Porphyrio martinicaA medium-sized bird with purple-blue plumage, it inhabits swamps, lagoons, flooded fields and ponds.”
“It is particularly remarkable for its large breeding colonies, the millions of wintering waterbirds, and for harboring threatened species such as imperial eagle and purple gallinule.”
“Important breeding wetland species include marbled teal Marmaronetta angustirostris (VU,35), white-headed duck Oxyura leucocephala (EN,400, which nest mainly in artificial ponds in surrounding areas), white-eyed pochard Aythya niroca (VU), purple gallinule Porphyrio porphyrio and crested coot Fulica cristata.”
“Reed beds, sedges and other fresh-water species have been replaced by halophytes, causing a sharp reduction in the numbers of migratory birds which depended on the former habitat; all reed-dependent species such as purple heron, purple gallinule and reed warblers have disappeared.”
“A nearby Roman mosaic depicts a purple gallinule porphyrio porphyrio, which bred in the reed beds until a decade ago.”
“Birds of interest spotted in the component include the hooded merganser, the sora rail, the American bittern, the pied - billed grebe, the marsh hawk, the sedge wren, the least tern, the common gallinule and the least bittern.”
“Yes, yes, from a purely aesthetic point of view the herons and the rare cranes of the Everglades are far lovelier; yes, the purple gallinule shimmers more gorgeously in the sun; and yes, the common moorhens the black waterbirds with red beaks are more funny and practical.”
“That man of foolish understanding who steals ghee has to take birth as a gallinule.”
“The jacana invariably lays four eggs, and the gallinule, at this latitude, six or eight, yet only a fraction of the young had survived even to this tender age.”
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