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Information for Australasian swamphen - Porphyrio melanotus

Eukaryota >Animalia > Chordata > Aves > Gruiformes > Rallidae > Porphyrio > Porphyrio melanotus

Australasian swamphen
Porphyrio melanotus

Previously considered a sub species of the Purple swamp hen but now recognised as its own species.

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Australasian swamphen - Porphyrio melanotus - Photo by Kylie Pawlow

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Australasian swamphens are a large rail, with mostly black body and dark blue-purple breast and throat. The bill is red and legs are orange to red. When they walk, they lift their tail revealing white undersides to the tail feathers.

You will often find them wading around the edge of freshwater lakes and swamps, where they will eat the young shoots of reeds and also small animals like frogs and snails.

Their call is a loud "keeee-owww", and will form small groups and the previous young will share in the incubation and raising of new chicks.