Galapagos Common Gallinule Facts

Name: Common Gallinule
Family: Rallidae
Scientific name: Gallinula chloropus
Length: 30 - 38 cm (11.8 - 14.9 in)
Weight: Males 370-456 g – Females 310-398 g

Category: Shore Birds
Number of Species: 28
Endemic Species: 19

In total, 21 species of water birds have been recorded in Galapagos, 10 of which are endemic to the Islands. Thirty Four species of shore birds have been recorded in Galapagos, only 2 of which are endemic.

Category: Waterbirds
Six species of Rails and Crakes have been recorded in Galapagos: 3 resident species and 3 vagrant species. The only endemic species is the Galapagos Rail. Rails and crakes are small to medium-sized ground-dwelling birds with plump bodies; short tails, which are often held erect; shortish necks and bills; and long legs and toes (the feet are not webbed). They are generally rather furtive, mainly inhabiting marshy areas and are usually reluctant to fly. They are good swimmers. The sexes are alike in all species.

The Common Gallinule is a resident species of Galapagos, mainly inhabiting brackish lagoons. It breeds mostly from May to October.

A medium-sized, dark gallinule. ADULT: Generally dark blackish-grey, with distinctive broken white line along flanks, and white under tail-coverts; frontal shield and base of bill bright red and tip of bill yellow; legs and feet yellow, with upper pare of tibia orange. JUVENILE: Much duller than adult, with pale brown under parts and greenish-brown bill, lacking the frontal shield; legs and feet olive-grey.

Typically an explosive "krrruk", but also gives a range of sharp "kik" and "kark" calls.

Distinctive, jerky head movement when swimming.

Galapagos Common Gallinule