Purple Swamphen

Purple Swamphen also called the Purple Moorhen is found near Delhi Public School Tapi at Surat.
(Please wait for a few seconds while the photos load onto the gallery. This may depend on your internet speed.)

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Scientific Name : Porphyrio porphyrio
Kingdom            : Animalia
Phylum               : Chordata
Class                    : Aves
Order                  : Gruiformes
Family                : Rallidae
Genus                 : Porphyrio
Species               : P. porphyrio

How do I identify this bird:

Observe this bird carefully in the photo gallery above and note the following :

  • It is about 45-50 cms long
  • It is large in size
  • It is a Purplish blue rail which is handsome but clumsy
  • It has long red legs and toes
  • It has a huge red bill
  • Its forehead is bald and red (frontal shield)
  • It has a white patch under its stumpy tail (can be seen when flicked up in each step)
  • Both male and female are alike
  • The juvenile is greyer with duller bill
Where do I find this bird: 
  • It is found in pairs or in groups in swampy reed beds.
  • You can find groups of them in swampy reeds  a kilometre away from DPS Tapi.
  • It stalks through the vegetation with jerky bobbing of head and flicking of tail just like the waterhen and  the flight and general behaviour of both of them are similar.
  • It also occasionally clambers clumsily up the reed stems.
  • It feeds on shoots and vegetable matter and also insects and molluscs. It is locally destructive to the paddy crops. It makes a variety of loud hooting and hoarse sounds.
Local Names:

Hindi          : Kharim, Kalim, Kaim, Khima
Gujarati      : Neel kukadi
Bengali       : Kaim, Kam pakhi
Assamese   : Kham sorai
Malayalam : Neela khozhi