Females lay eggs in the same nest.

This very beautiful bird, about as big as a small chicken, is a member of the rail family. Very well adapted to life along lakes and rivers, the Purple Swamphen is a good swimmer, though its feet are not webbed; but it has long toes, which enable it to walk on the leaves of aquatic plants. The diet is varied, consisting primarily of plants but also of fish and small molluscs. Its dark blue and turquoise plumage and its bright red legs, beak and forehead make it a famous bird, already in ancient times… but not only for its beauty. Thus Polemon of Ilion, a Greek philosopher, wrote concerning the Porphyrion (the Purple Swamphen’s name at that time) that it “was nourished in people’s houses as the guardian of women’s virtue because if any adultery was committed, the bird would hang itself or let itself die of hunger!” Science has made some progress meanwhile… During reproduction season, some remarkable behaviour can be observed: several females lay their eggs in the same nest which can, in total, contain about twenty eggs. This clutch is incubated by the entire group, including the males.

Identity Card

  • Name : Purple Swamphen
  • Latin Name : Porphyrio porphyrio
  • Origin : South Europe, Africa, Southern Asia, Oceania
  • IUCN Status : Least Concerned
  • Cites : --