Coots, Common Moorhens, and Purple Gallinules are seen in The Villages, FL on occasion and mostly in the shallow marshes or prairies. I often spot these birds at the Sharon Rose Wiechens Nature Preserve. The Coots are migratory and usually seen in the Winter here and are often on Lake Sumter in large numbers. The Moorhens and Purple Gallinules are year around resident birds with the Moorhens being a lot more commonly seen (pardon the pun).
The Coots are a charcoal black with a white face for both of the sexes. The Purple Gallinules are a vivid blue and purple with a yellow blue and red bill. The Common Gallinule or Moorhen, resembles the coot but has a red face and the females are brown with the red face. The Coots, Common Moorhens and Purple Gallinules all are Rails. These birds have a loud cry when alarmed and also sound a bit like a chicken clucking when in their normal communication mode. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.