Purple Swamphen

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Purple Swamphen

Porphyrio porphyrio


Breeds July-December. A bowl shaped nest is constructed on a platform of trampled reeds, water ribbons and cumbungi. All family members including previous young assist with the incubation and care of the young.


Details Description
Type
Bird
Group
Rail
Identifying Characteristics

Male and female similar. A large waterhen with a deep blue/black head, purple/blue neck and breast, dark back, robust scarlet bill and forehead shield, red eye, reddish legs and long toes. Flicking of the tail reveals white under tail-coverts. Immatures are duller in colour with a blackish-red bill. Size 44-48 cm.

Distinctive Markings

Deep blue/black head, purple/blue neck and breast, dark back and wings with a very prominent scarlet bill.

Diet

Omnivore, eating reed and rush shoots which are pulled out of the water, frogs and snails. Will also eat waterbird eggs and ducklings.

Habitat

Well vegetated wetlands, lakes, dams or rivers with grassy margins, trees, scrub or introduced willows.

Native Status
Native to Australia
Sounds
A large variety of calls including a harsh "kak, kak, kiark, ki-aark".
Taxonomy
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Aves
Order
Gruiformes
Family
Rallidae
Genus
Porphyrio
Species
porphyrio
Widespread in eastern and coastal north-eastern Australia, also Tasmania. Less common in coastal northern Australia. Extends inland when conditions are suitable.

Distribution maps indicate current and historic locations where species have been sighted.

Source: Atlas of Living Australia

Conservation Status
DEPI Advisory List
Not listed
FFG Act
Not listed
EPBC Act
Not listed

The conservation status of species is listed within Victoria and Australia.

The Department of Environment and Primary Industry (DEPI) Advisory List consists of non-statutory advisory lists of rare or threatened flora and fauna within Victoria.

The Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (FFG Act) lists threatened species in Victoria. Under the Act, an Action Statement is produced for each listed species.

The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) is the Australian Government’s key piece of environmental legislation, listing nationally threatened native species and ecological communities.

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