Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Wildland Resources


Jessop B. Low


Data on the Common and Purple Gallinules at the Welder Wildlife Foundation in South Texas indicated that resource partitioning between the two birds occurred. The objectives of this study were: (1) to compare differences in daily activities; (2) to investigate nesting habits; and (3) to measure physical characteristics of the two birds.

Three methods of resource partitioning were utilized by the two gallinules. (1) Common Gallinules selected open water associated with sparse panicum and paspalum grasses while Purple Gallinules selected dense panicum and paspalum grasses. (2) Common Gallinules during migration and throughout the season shifted gradually from a sparse panicum and paspalum microhabitat to open water adjacent to sparse grasses. Purple Gallinules shifted from a sparse microhabitat during migration to an open panicum and paspalum microhabitat during courtship. However, during nesting, Purple Gallinules utilized a dense microhabitat. (3) Purple Gallinules placed nests in denser cover than Common Gallinules. Nests of Purple Gallinules were found at higher elevations above water than nests of Common Gallinules.

Different patterns of diurnal activity, choices of different food items, differences in feeding methods, and differences in physical characteristics were partitioning mechanism factors also investigated and found not to be utilized by the two gallinules.



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