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 Purple Gallinule

Status in Michigan

Early Spring Date

Late Fall Date
Note: Early and Late Dates are being researched.
Image Credits
Count totals in the NMB Databases for Purple Gallinule.

Use the links below to view the Purple Gallinule reports in the respective databases.
If there are zero sightings for a particular season, that database will return no results.

Active Database - Spring 2005
View Purple Gallinule sightings.
Purple Gallinule Archives Reports
Fall 2003 0
Spring 2003 0
Winter 02-03 0
Fall 2002 0
Summer 2002 0
Spring 2002 0
Winter 01-02 0
Fall 2001 0
Summer 2001 0
Spring 2001 0
Winter 00-01 0
Fall 2000 0
Summer 2000 0
Spring 2000 0
Winter 00-99 0
Fall 1999 0
Spring/Summer 1999 0

NMB Database
Seasonal Percentage Graph
For: Purple Gallinule

Whitefish Point Bird Observatory
Active Database - Fall 2003
View Fall 2003 sightings.
Whitefish Point Bird Observatory Official Seasonal Count Summaries for the Purple Gallinule
Fall 1999-Spring 2002
Purple Gallinule
Note: Some species will not be present in the WPBO archives and will return no records.

Search "The Birds of Michigan" text.

Home - Foreword - Preface - Introduction - Hypothetical List - Literature Cited

Historical Text
The Birds of Michigan - by: Norman A. Wood
Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75

Gallinula cliloropus cachinnans Bangs
Florida Gallinule (A.O.U. 1998: Purple Gallinule)

Common summer resident, north to Saginaw Bay and Grand Rapids, and at Indian River, Cheboygan County.

First listed for Michigan by Sager (1839: 416).

SPRING.-Arrival has been reported principally in the latter part of April and in early May. In the Toledo-Erie marsh area L. W. Campbell (1940: 188, 202) found that March 20 (1934) was the earliest date (April 16, the average) for first arrivals; April 14 the earliest (May 1, the average) for the beginning of main flight. In the marshes near Detroit, Swales listed the species as early as April 15 (1903) and found it common usually in late April or early May. Late April or early May seems to be the usual time of arrival elsewhere in the southern counties. Walter E. Hastings noted an individual at South Lyon, Oakland County, on April 9 (1925) ; and J. Spiker observed 3 at Pleasant Lake, Washtenaw County, on April 14 (1933). Walkinshaw listed the species near Portage Lake, Jackson County, on April 28 (1935), and in Convis Township, Calhoun County, on April 29 (1940). At Vicksburg, Kalamazoo County, it has arrived by April 26 (1925-F. W. Rapp, 1931: 8) and in Berrien County by May 8 (1918-N. A. Wood, 1922;10) . One was noted also on Beaver Island, Charlevoix County, on May 7 (1929).

SUMMER.-Eggs are commonly found in May and June; downy young have been found from early June to mid-August.

Swales found the species abundant on Grosse lie, Wayne County, as well as in the St. Glair Plate (J. Claire Wood, 1888: 43; Langille, 1884: 404; and 1892: 15; see also Gibbs, 1888: 87); they found nests with eggs (U.M.M.Z.) there from May to late June. The species probably breeds commonly in the Lake Erie marshes of Monroe County (Barrows, 1912: 161-62; L. W. Campbell, 1940: 68) and also commonly in the Ann Arbor region, where a number of egg sets and chicks (U.M.M.Z.) have been collected. Eggs or broods have been found in Jackson County at Norvell Township (brood on August 15, 1938, reported by Fargo), Portage Lake (adult with 4 young on July 28, 1935, reported by R. E. Olsen and A. D. Tinker), and in Leoni Township (3 eggs on May 12, 1940, reported by "Walkinshaw). Several egg sets were found in Convis and Pennfield townships, Calhoun County (in the 1930's by Walkinshaw), as well as in Kalamazoo County (Gibbs, 1885 :166 ; 1893c; 35-36). At Vicksburg, Kalamazoo County, the species has been a common summer resident, according to F. W. Rapp (1931: 8), who discovered egg sets there from May 2 to June 13. It is said to breed at Grand Rapids, Kent County (Baker, 1940: 114), as well as in Chandler's marsh, Ingham County (plentifully-Barrows, 1912: 161-62) . Although Barrows stated that the species is plentiful "about Saginaw Bay near the mouth of the [Saginaw] river," there are apparently no definite breeding records for this region or for any more northern region in Michigan except the vicinity of Burt Lake, Cheboygan County, where the gallinule was "apparently common" on August 9, 2023 (Fortner and Met- calf, 1929: 249), and several nests and broods (U.M.M.Z.) were found (in the Indian River marsh at Muskrat Landing) from 1930 through 1941 (Blanchard and Nelson, MS of 1937; and notes).

FALL.-Departure is recorded chiefly in the last half of September. Without offering data, Mershon (1923: 78) indicated that the species is numerous in the Saginaw River marshes in October. F. W. Rapp (1931: 8) listed it as present at Vicksburg, Kalamazoo County, until November 3 (1912); and at Norvell pond, Jackson County, Fargo noted 40 of the species, mostly immature, on September 22 and 30, 1933. The majority apparently leave the Ann Arbor region chiefly in the latter part of September, though an individual was still at Geddes Pond, Ann Arbor, on October 17 (1937-D. P. Duncan and H. A. Mathiak). R. E. Olsen observed 15 on September 11, 1938, near Pontiac, Oakland County. Swales found the species abundant at the St. Clair Flats, St. Clair County, from July 17 to 25 (1896) and on August 15-16 (1895) ; and at Grosse He, Wayne County, he noted 6 birds on September 10 (1910) and 1 as late as October 9 (1906). Main flight has usually ended in the Toledo-Erie marsh area by September 16 (latest date: October 6), but individuals have remained there until October 20 (L. W. Campbell, 1940: 188, 202).

Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75
The Birds of Michigan
By: Norman A. Wood
University of Michigan Press
August 28, 2023

Digitized by: Keith F. Saylor
[email protected]

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