noun \ˈga-lə-ˌnül, -ˌnyül\

Definition of GALLINULE

:  any of several aquatic birds of the rail family with long thin feet and a platelike frontal area on the head: as
a :  moorhen
b :  one (Porphyrula martinica) found from the southern United States to Argentina that is purplish blue with olive-green upperparts, a red and yellow bill, and a light blue frontal area


New Latin Gallinula, genus of birds, from Latin, pullet, diminutive of gallina
First Known Use: 1776


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Purple gallinule (Porphyrula martinica)—Ruth Cordner/Root Resources

Any of several species of marsh birds (family Rallidae) found in temperate, tropical, and subtropical regions worldwide. Gallinules are about 12–18 in. (30–45 cm) long, with a compressed body like those of the related rails and coots. They have a fleshy plate on the forehead and long, thin toes that enable them to run on floating vegetation. Many species have brightly coloured areas of plumage or skin. They are noisy, inquisitive, and less secretive than most rails. Many are migratory. They build a bulky nest of rushes on or near the water. See also moorhen.


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