Thursday, April 10, 2008

Purple Swamphen


Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio), also known as the African Purple Swamphen or Purple Moorhen or Purple Gallinule or Purple Coot , is a large bird in the family Rallidae. From its name in French, talève sultane, it is also sometimes known as the Sultana Bird. It should not be confused with the American Purple Gallinule, Porphyrio martinica. The common name in New Zealand, used for P. p. melanotus is Pūkeko, and is derEuropean birds are overall purple-blue, African and south Asian birds have a green back, and Australasian and Indonesian birds have black backs and heads. The Philippines subspecies is pale blue with a brown back. This chicken-sized bird, with its huge feet, bright plumage and red bill and frontal shield is unmistakable in its native rangeived from the Māori name for the species.

Some authorities separate various subspecies as full species, for example P. p. madagascariensis is split by Sinclair et al as African Purple Swamphen, P. madagascariensis.

Purple Swamphens are considered to be the ancestors of several island species including the extinct Lord Howe Swamphen and two species of Takahē in New Zealand. The Purple Swamphen itself, deriving from a later self-introduction, is a native of New Zealand, where it is called the Pūkeko. Its range is thought to have expanded there after the arrival of humans as the numbers of Takahē declined to near-extinction levels

1 comment:

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