immature Purple Gallinule digiscoped with Leica APO Televid scope and C-Lux 2 camera
On a recent birding expedition here in Florida, I had the unique opportunity to compare Purple Gallinules side by side with the recently introduced Purple Swamphen. In direct comparison to the Swamphen (originally from Africa), the native Purple Gallinule shows the unique "candy corn" bi-colored beak and blue bill shield (above the beak) in adult plumage. The birds are both considerably smaller and slighter than the larger Swamphens as well.
Part of the reason I didn't observe the species together stems from their varying styles of feeding in the marsh. The Purple Gallinules spend a lot of time high in the brush feeding on emerging flower buds as you see in the image below. This adult Gallinule had just reached out and plucked one of the missing buds, and is just beginning to lean in for another.
Purple Swamphens pluck the stalks of succulent emergent vegetation and nibble on these while holding these firmly in their foot. I was able to capture this behavior in the short video clip below! Even though these Swamphens are yet another introduced exotic it is still interesting to watch their behaviors.