Plumage above deep olive-brown; beneath blackish gray; ridge of the wing, and under tail-coverts, white.
G. chloropus, Temm. Man. d'Orn. torn. ii. p. 693. Common Gallinule, Mont. Orn. Diet. Bew. Brit. Birds, vol. ii. p. 137. Selb. Illust. vol. ii. p. 188. pl. 31.
Entire length thirteen inches: length of the bill (from the base of the frontal disk) one inch five lines, (from the gape) one inch one line and a half; of the tarsus one inch eleven lines; of the middle toe two inches eight lines and a half; of the tail two inches eleven lines; from the carpus to the end of the wing six inches nine lines: breadth, wings extended, twenty inches ten lines.
Head, throat, neck, and upper part of the breast, dusky-gray; rest of the under parts deep bluish gray, the feathers on the belly and abdomen edged with grayish white: upper parts dark olive: flanks with large longitudinal streaks of white: ridge of the wing, and under tail-coverts, pure white, the latter with a few black feathers intermixed: frontal disk, and base of the bill, red; tip of the bill yellow: irides red: legs and toes olive-green: on the naked part of the tibia a red circle. (Young, till after the second autumnal moult). Crown of the head and nape, as well as the rest of the upper parts, olivaceous brown: throat, front of the neck, and a spot beneath the eye, whitish; breast, belly, and abdomen, pale gray; flanks tinged with olivaceous: tip of the bill greenish, passing into olivaceous brown at the base: the frontal disk of small size, of a deep olivaceous brown: irides brown: legs olivaceous; the naked part of the tibia yellowish. (Egg). Reddish white, sparingly spotted and speckled with orange-brown: long. diam. one inch eight lines and a half; trans, diam. one inch three lines and a half.
A common inhabitant of marshy places and the banks of rivers throughout the country. Runs swiftly, and is also a good swimmer. Nest constructed of rushes and other dry herbage; generally placed on the ground near the water's edge, but occasionally in trees. Eggs from five to eight in number, laid early in April. Food, insects, seeds, and aquatic vegetables.