Bird, bug, butterfly and a wild variety of photos from Belarus, Cyprus, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Scotland and Spain by Irish wildlife photographer Patrick J. O'Keeffe and invited guests

Friday 3 March 2017

WESTERN [PURPLE] SWAMPHEN (Porphyrio porphyrio) Albufera Marsh, Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain

Click here for detailed species information
Click here to see tha former distribution map of Purple Swamphen subspecies  and to hear calls
The Western Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio) is a large member of the rail family Rallidae which is in the genus Porphyrio. This chicken-sized bird, with its large feet, bright plumage and red bill and frontal shield is easily recognisable in its native range. It used to be considered the nominate subspecies of the Purple Swamphen which has now been split into six full species  It is found in Iberia, France, Sardinia and  northwest Africa to Tunisia.

The Purple Swamphen has been split into the following species:
  •     Western Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio) - southwest Europe and northwest Africa
  •     African Swamphen (Porphyrio madagascariensis) - sub-Saharan  Africa and   Madagascar
  •     Grey-headed Swamphen (Porphyrio poliocephalus) - Middle East, through the Indian subcontinent to southern China and northern Thailand, introduced Florida, USA
  •     Black-backed Swamphen (Porphyrio indicus) - southeast Asia to Sulawesi
  •     Philippine Swamphen (Porphyrio pulverulentus) - Philippine islands
  •     Australasian Swamphen (Porphyrio melanotus) - Australia, New Zealand, and Oceania