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Spot-flanked Gallinule - BirdForum Opus

Adult, Subspecies crassirostris
Photo © by Luis R
Santiago Metropolitan Region, Chile, November 2018
Porphyriops melanops


22–30 cm (8¾-11¾ in)

  • Black face
  • Grey head, neck and breast
  • Brown back
  • Large white flank spots
  • White undertail-coverts
  • Greenish-yellow bill and shield

Juvenile: Lacks grey plumage of adult. Bill and shield grey instead of green.


Subspecies bogotensis
Photo © by COLOMBIA Birding
Eastern Andes, Colombia, February 2011

Most of South America from Colombia to Chile and Argentina



Three subspecies are recognized:[1]

  • P. m. bogotensis:
  • P. m. melanops:
  • P. m. crassirostris:

Formerly placed in the genus Gallinula.


Wetlands with lots of floating vegetation, such as ponds, ditches, lakes, lagoons and marshes.


Can sometimes remind more of a rail than a gallinule when not coming out further than the edge of a reed bed.


They pick food from the floating vegetation while swimming, but what they actually eat is so far unknown.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. BF member, personal observation
  3. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved November 2018)

Recommended Citation

External Links

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