Ladies and gentlemen, repeat after me: Always take your spare camera battery.
“But I’m just going to my local neighborhood park! There’s no way that I’ll ever take that many photos! It’s late May and there’s not that much to shoot!”
Always take your spare camera battery!
So as a preview of coming attractions, I had a great Saturday morning at Newton Park. It’s been a while since I’ve been there, and I didn’t anticipate there being much action. But it turned out to be a great morning! For this post, we’ll focus on the Purple Gallinule families that I found. Both juveniles and babies posed for my camera!
Adult Purple Gallinules are so colorful. This male was clearly used to being fed. He wanted me to give him a snack, but instead, I took his picture.
In the early morning light, I found a group of juvenile Purple Gallinules in an Alligator Flag plant. The juvies lack the bright brilliant colors of the adults, but their feathers are beautifully iridescent. Then I noticed this pair of juveniles. They were quietly preening each other. It was very gentle and sweet. Often I see this with a pair of birds as a courtship ritual, but in this case, I think it was a sign of birds who take care of the family.
Speaking of the family, I heard small squeaks and followed them until I spotted the little black chicks. These are tiny Purple Gallinule babies! I love their bright black feathers and orange beaks. There were three in total. These two decided to pose for the camera.
The gallinules are one of the few bird families where the older juveniles help their parents take care of the younger babies. Below is a juvenile Purple Gallinule who grabbed a bit of food, which he proceeded to take back to the babies.
While the babies worked, the adults…wandered in the grass and begged for food! I wondered if this was an adult still looking for a mate. Look at those shiny colors!
It was fun to spend some quiet time with these beautiful birds. Being out with the camera felt amazing – just like having your head scratched in just the right place!
Want to learn more about nature photography at Lake Apopka?
Check out my Lake Apopka page with more information about the location, map, website, photography tips, etc. It is archived by date so you can see my images from previous visits. Maybe you'll be inspired for your own trip!
Planning a trip to Florida? Don't miss my Central Florida Bird Photography Locations reference guide!