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Recalls an outsized moorhen in outline but colours are striking. Adult has violet-blue plumage with blue face and red eyes, legs and bill. Undertail is white and exposed as bird nervously flicks its tail.
Favours brackish water with standing water, reedbeds and freshwater marshes. Feeds on underwater stems of waterplants.
A rare species in the region, only found in small populations in S Iberian Peninsula, Mallorca, Sardinia and Turkey. This one was spotted in the Rio Formosa Natural Par, in a reedy lake.