from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th 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.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Several species of birds in the genera Porphyrio and Gallinula of the family Rallidae.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. 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).

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A bird of the subfamily Gallinulinæ, and especially of the genus Gallinula.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • 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 The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Latin gallīnula, pullet, diminutive of gallīna, hen; see gallinaceous.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin "Gallinula"


  • 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.

    Rare birds flock to British shores in record numbers

  • American purple gallinule Porphyrio martinicaA medium-sized bird with purple-blue plumage, it inhabits swamps, lagoons, flooded fields and ponds.

    Rare birds flock to British shores in record numbers

  • 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.

    Doñana National Park, Spain

  • 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.

    Doñana National Park, Spain

  • 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.

    Ichkeul National Park, Tunisia

  • A nearby Roman mosaic depicts a purple gallinule porphyrio porphyrio, which bred in the reed beds until a decade ago.

    Ichkeul National Park, Tunisia

  • 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.

    Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Maryland

  • 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 Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4 Books 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18

  • 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.

    Edge of the Jungle


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