In the wetland world, there are many colourful birds about, especially during breeding season. One only has to take a look at the male (drake) wood duck for a bright example, but in the township of Masardis in Northern Maine, we have set aside a piece of waterfront for another, even more rare wetland bird called the Common Gallinule. More common in southern Ontario and Quebec, some have come as far east as Maine and eastern New Brunswick. This 9.4-hectare (23 acre) site was brought to our attention by the local Maine Inland Fish & Wildlife biologists in 2015 as an annual breeding area. This crow-sized bird has long legs and oversized toes and, despite being a marsh dweller, they are not webbed feet.  The drake’s body is a drab greyish blue, but its bill is a vibrant red with a yellow tip and the legs are yellow to olive green with a red ring around them near the body. 

Wetland habitat loss is listed as the primary reason for this bird’s decline over the decades, ultimately leading to its status of “Threatened” in the State of Maine. We hope that our conservation at this site and the thousands of hectares of wetlands we protect across our land base (with the help of Ducks Unlimited) will turn the fate of this bird around.

Learn more about other unique bird & mammal sites below!