Rare Bird Sighting Bird In Danger- from Bill O’Connor


Hey Joey,

On New Year’s Eve I was headed over to Horizon Chinese Restaurant to pick up our New Year’s Eve feast, when I came across this bird literally standing in the middle of the road.  I almost ran it over, and couldn’t tell what it was at first – I thought it was road debris.  I stopped the car and got out to check what it was, and when I saw the feet it kind of freaked me out a little bit.  This bird did not flinch a bit even though it was fully lit with high beams and fog lights from my car which was only a few feet away, so I figured it was sleeping.  I snapped a couple of photos of it with my iPhone, then I nudged it with my toe a couple of times before it woke with a startle and scurried off.  

The bird’s behavior was pretty strange so I submitted it to the Mass Audubon and they determined it was a rare sighting for this area, and the bird was a young Purple Gallinule that hatched in 2011.  The one I saw looked like this: http://tgreybirds.com/PurpleGallinule5.jpg  When they are full grown they look like this: http://tgreybirds.com/PurpleGallinule1.jpg

There’s a lot of concern for the well being of this animal because it’s not equipped to survive the cold of the North, so if you see it around – report it to the Mass Audubon at mass_audubon@massaudubon.org ASAP.

~Bill O’Connor
North Shore Kid


  • It was so interesting… Thank you Joey, with my love, nia


  • What an amazing sighting Bill! I remember seeing them when I lived in Florida, but would never expect to see one on Cape Ann, which would be akin to seeing an ibis or a roseate spoonbill here. I really hope it was able to find some way to survive the bitter cold we’ve been having and can get into the hands of the Audubon Society before it freezes to death.


  • What a wild looking bird! As a self professed bird geek, I would have flipped out if I’d seen it. Thankfully the weather hasn’t been too cold but I do hope the fates step in and somehow it survives. Thanks for the post. Really interesting.


  • Wow, that is something. You are a good man to investigate “who” this bird was. I hope he/she makes it okay. Will send a prayer to it.


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