Fairly common but very local in Mediterranean region; escapes occur occasionally in northern Europe. Favors fresh marshes. Clambers among tall reeds and rushes in fresh marshes; also feeds at edges, even out in adjacent wet fields. Distinctive: a huge gallinule, much larger than moorhen. Deep purplish blue overall with very stout red bill and reddish legs, white undertail patch. Juvenile duller overall, mostly grayish.