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African Swamphen

Porphyrio porphyrio


This chicken-sized bird, with its large feet, bright plumage and red bill and frontal shield is easily recognisable in its native range.


The Purple Swamphen prefers wet areas with high rainfall, swamps, lake edges and damp pastures. The birds often live in pairs and larger communities. It clambers through the reeds, eating the tender shoots and vegetable-like matter. They have been known to eat eggs, ducklings, small fish and invertebrates such as snails. They have even been known to attack large eels, however there is no consensus amongst ornithologists if they actually eat eel. They will often use one foot to bring food to their mouth rather than eat it on the ground. Where they are not persecuted they can become tame and be readily seen in towns and cities.

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Jared Hersch
Jared Hersch 8 years ago

Thx Everyone for the words!

Bhagya Herath
Bhagya Herath 8 years ago

perfect timing .... nice spotting......

The MnMs
The MnMs 8 years ago

Bird acrobatics! :-)

James McNair
James McNair 8 years ago

Looks a lot like American Gallinule! Awesome shot!

Jared Hersch
Spotted by
Jared Hersch

Knysna Local Municipality, Western Cape, South Africa

Spotted on Aug 25, 2014
Submitted on Aug 27, 2014

Related Spottings

Purple Swamphen Purple Moorhen Calamón Porphyrio porphyrio Vs. Sterna hirundo

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African Stonechat Common Waxbill Cape cormorant Purple heron


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