Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio)
Purple Swamphen, Spain, May 2000 - click for larger image Coto Doñana, Spain
May 2000

The Purple Swamphen is found in suitable habitat in Europe, Asia, Africa, India, Australia and New Zealand. With such a wide spread it is not surprising that there are 13 subspecies. The subspecies found in Europe is the nominate.

Purple Swamphen, Spain, May 2000 - click for larger image This rail is large and ponderous as it moves around the wetlands it inhabits. It is mainly vegetarian and it uses its bill to dig out stems, etc. which it then holds in its feet while it eats.

There is an illustration in HBW, Volume 3, Page 198

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