Purple Swamphen

The Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio) is an aquatic bird about 41 to 44 centimetres in size. It has a bill and frontal shield brick-red in colour and red eyes. The head and upper-parts are black, while the under-parts and wings are deep blue to purple-black. The under tail coverts are white.

Purple Swamphen - (Porphyrio porphyrio) in Barongarook Creek, near Lake Colac in Victoria, Australia

Purple Swamphen – (Porphyrio porphyrio) in Barongarook Creek, near Lake Colac in Victoria, Australia

Nestling birds are black and their bill is a greyish-white and a black tip. Their legs will be grey and turning red with age.

A juvenile bird will be a browner colour.

Purple Swamphen - on the banks of Barongarook Creek.

Purple Swamphen – on the banks of Barongarook Creek.

The habitat of the Purple Swamphen consists of swamps, marshy paddocks, and just about any water way.

This Purple Swamphen is standing on a rock just beneath the water.

This Purple Swamphen is standing on a rock just beneath the water.

In this last photo you can see the elongated toes of this waterbird, enabling it to walk on any lily pads that may be on the water.

For reference I consult the Simpson & Day Field Guide to the Birds of Australia. I have the fifth edition, however I believe there is now a sixth edition.

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