Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio
(aka Western Swamphen)
Purple Swamphen, Spain, May 2022 - click for larger image Coto Doñana, Spain
May 2022

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

Alternatively, some authorities split this species into up to 6 species in which case this bird would be classified as a Western Swamphen

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.

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