Leaves, shoots, also snails and even eggs from the nests of other water birds.
Suitable habitats for this species include ponds, lakes, dams, marshes, swamps, rivers, flood-plains, artesian wells, rice fields and sewage farms.
Purple Gallinules have remarkably large feet. They are members of the rail family, their other name being the Purple Swamphen, which gives a clue to where their long toes prove useful.
They are able to walk on floating vegetation, and clamber across reeds and swamps.
They also use their feet to grab young shoots and bring the food towards their beak.
Their diet is mainly vegetable including leaves and shoots, but they will also take snails and even eggs from the nests of other water birds.