We’re so grateful for Bob’s eye for native fauna at Booyong and Spring was no exception, the birdlife was amazing! One of his discoveries was this mother swamp hen nesting at the edge of the dam.
The Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio) is a common medium size bird found in eastern Australia. It transports itself from Australia to New Guinea, New Zealand and throughout the islands of the south-west pacific. The Swamphen are identified by their black/blue colouring and their distinctive red bill and orange red feet.
They are often found in freshwater swamps, streams and marshes and have a loud call that sounds like ‘kee-ow’. The Purple Swamphen eats the soft shoots of reeds and rushes and feeds on small animals like frogs, grasping their food with their long toes. They are also known to steal eggs from other birds like ducks. They are proficient swimmers and like to wander along the edges of water amongst the reed and floating vegetation.
The Purple Swamphen exist in small groups of males and females and more than one male will mate with a female as there are often more males in the group. The role of caring for the young is shared by all family members and a female will have two broods annually.
More Information about the Purple Swamphen can be located at Birds in Backyards