The Oddest Little Baby Birds I’ve Ever Seen

March 23, 2014 at 11:17 am (Bird photography, Birds- Florida, Great Florida Birding Trail, Nature, Wildlife) (, , )

Common Gallinule newborn chick, Green Cay Nature Center, Boynton Beach, Fl

Common Gallinule newborn chick, Green Cay Nature Center, Boynton Beach, Fl

First off, I was fussed at by a snobby birder in the Everglades a few years ago when I called this bird a Common Gallinule, since by then the American Ornithological Union had changed the name to Common Moorhen.  See, I learned my birds 50 years ago, and I still have a Peterson’s Guide with  the original names.  However, in 2011 the AOU changed the name back, to distinguish it from its European relative.  So there, Miss Snobby Bird Lady.


Several springs ago, I was at one of my favorite bird places – Green Cay Nature Center in Boynton Beach, Florida.  There was a clutch of newborn common gallinule chicks that were the absolutely funniest little bird babies I’ve ever seen.  They wiggled their bony wings like cartoon characters.  Their bald heads, puffy black eyes, and downy bodies just made me laugh out loud.  Mom and Dad were teaching them what was good to eat.




Whatever you want to call this species, once the babies make a showing, the “common” becomes something you just can’t take your eyes away from.  Now if I can ever find the video I did of them, I’ll post that, too.

Adult Common Gallinule

Adult Common Gallinule

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  1. bobdouat said,

    Cindy, a couple of days ago I was looking at some Common Moorhens and went to look at the info on them in the iBird Pro app. I was puzzled by the fact that they weren’t listed. Just checked and found them under ” Common Gallinule”. LOL Thanks for the education.

  2. Judy Bell said,

    So who can keep up with the AOU anyway? I still like the Louisiana Heron, Baldpate, and OldSquaw. And heaven forbid the AOU should show up at a hunter check station where the hunters bring in smiling mallards/spoonnies (Northern Shovelers), speckle bellies (Greater White-fronted Geese), and grey ducks (Gadwall)!

  3. Cindy McIntyre said,

    Judy- Louisiana Heron, Oldsquaw – me too!!!! Sometimes I have to sort it out in my mind – which is the current name? And Maryland Yellowthroat. Baltimore oriole is another that went back and forth. ARGH!!!

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