Common Gallinule (an adult this time) at the Merced National Wildlife Refuge
Five or six weeks ago we were at the Merced National Wildlife Refuge and saw a Common Gallinule (Gallinula galeata) for the first time. It was a juvenile, which was why it took a little bit longer for me, the amateur, to identify it. Last week we were back, and this time we saw one all grown up.
The Gallinules look a fair bit like ducks, but are more related to Soras or Coots. They don't have webbed feet for one, and walk differently. They breed widely across the eastern United States but are primarily a tropical bird, with a range that extends through Central America and into South America. They live in California's Great Valley, but are rarely found any farther north in the western United States.