The Purple Gallinule is the poor man's peacock, the Pavlova of the pond. One of our most exquisite water birds, in costume and choreography he animates marshes and roadside ditches all over Dixie. Hiddy-hiddy-hiddy, hit-up, hit-up, hit-up, he comments as he closes in on his dinner, using the lilypads as stepping stones. When he's in a hurry, though, he flies. But he apparently places little faith in air travel as he never retracts his landing gear.