Southeast Asia, New Zealand, Greater Sundas, Philippines, Australia, India and southern China
Dense reed beds in marsh and lake areas
Length: about 18 inches
Weight: about 1.9-2.3 pounds
About 11 years
Wild: Invertebrates, amphibians and plant matter
Zoo: Produce, ground meat, fish, and rainforest crumble mix
Incubation: 23-29 days
Clutch size: 3-6 eggs
A medium sized wading bird with beautiful purple feathers, highlighted with greens and blues. The beak is red with an extended ‘helmet’ on the forehead. The legs are long and red with long toes.
Humans, weasels, mongooses, birds of prey, larger wetland species, cats, dogs, foxes and others.
About the Animal
Sometimes called a Purple Gallinule, this red-footed wading bird is a common sight through most of Southeast Asia and eastern Australia.
Although capable of flying, the Purple Swamphen prefers to wade. Small flocks travel together as they wander through reed beds in search of food. When disturbed, flocks raise a terrible noise, sounding off in their hoarse, cracking voices.
Even at rest the Purple Swamphen has a habit of constantly flicking its tail, displaying the white feathers beneath.
Mating and Reproduction
Purple Swamphens have a variety of mating habits, from monogamous pairs to communal breeding/nests. In communal breeding/nests, two females share a nest and mate with several males. Non-breeding offspring of both sexes help raise the young.
Groups of swamphens have a well defined dominance hierarchy. These groups of up to 9 birds include a dominant, breeding female, her males and several non-breeding offspring.