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 firstname.lastname@example.org ASAP.
North Shore Kid