My favorite purple clowns

It’s that time of the year when the purple gallinules at Circle B Bar Reserve hang around the alligator flag plants close to trail. They feed with their young that were born earlier that spring. As I walked out on the trail in late October, there were several feeding right in front. The pale purple one is the juvenile that hasn’t gotten his full adult feathers in yet. It’s funny to watch them balance on the branches as they try to hold on.

Purple clowns at Circle B Bar Reserve

The purple gallinules are back on the alligator flag plants on the main trail at Circle B Bar Reserve. They can usually be found in October and November eating the seeds since the flag plants are in full bloom in the fall.  I only saw two close to the trail the day I was there in late October.  One was a juvenile since his head is not fully purple yet, probably born in early spring. They are very charismatic to watch as they climb all over the plants, often falling down.

Pretty as a peacock

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I only see purple gallinules in central Florida. Usually at Circle B Bar Reserve in Lakeland which is where I saw this guy. They are in the same family as moorhens (also known as common gallinules) and those are all over the Tampa Bay area (or at least closer to the coast). I had heard they were back on Heron Hideout trail in the alligator flag plants. They eat the seeds hanging off the plants (picture above). I only saw one in late October. He was close to the trail for a few minutes then hid behind the plant. They are usually fun to watch, like tiny purple clowns but this one seemed shy.