Mangoverde :: World Bird Guide :: Rails, Gallinules and Coots :: Purple Swamphen

Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio

Described by: Linnaeus (1758)
Alternate common name(s): African Swamphen, Indian Swamphen, Philippine Swamphen, Australian Swamphen, Eastern Swamphen, Western Swamphen, Green-backed Gallinule, Pukeko
Old scientific name(s): None known by website authors


Punakaiki, Westland, South Island, New Zealand - Apr 19, 2001 © William Hull  Mango Hill, Queensland, Australia - Aug, 2002 © Tom Tarrant  Lake Rotoura, North Island, New Zealand - Dec 8, 2004 © Kanae Hirabayashi  Algarve, Portugal - Jan 27, 2002 © Jose Viana  Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, Rajasthan, India - Dec 1, 2001 © Dave Behrens 
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S. Palearctic, Ethiopian, Oriental, and Australasian Regions;
Highly fragmented distribution;
(1) Sw. Europe (Portugal (Pera Marsh, Lagoa dos Salgados, Algarve), s. and e. Spain (Marshes of Guadalquivir River, Huelva, Cadiz, s. Cordoba, Jaen, Castrejon Reservoir, and introduced to Cataluna, Valencia, and Mallorca), s. France (Etang du Canet near Perpignan), and Sardinia (Sinis Peninsula, Golgo di Oristano, and Cagliari area)) and nw. Africa (Morocco (lower Rio Loukos, and delta of Rio Moulova, Casablanca), Algeria (Lake Tonga, Lake Boughzolu, Oran, and Algers), Tunisia (Lake Keliba and Lake Ichkeul)). Formerly occurred in Greece;
(2) Egypt (Nile Valley s. to Aswan, Suez Canal, Lake Qarun, and Wadi el Rayan)), sub-Saharan Africa in sw. Mauritana, Senegambia, s. Mali (Niger delta), Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, sw. Niger, s. Ghana, s. Togo, ex. n. and s. Nigeria, s. Cameroon, Central African Republic, Lake Chad region (Lake Fittri), ec. Sudan (Kosti), Ethiopia, Kenya (Rift Valley, Nairobi, Thika, Amboseli, Lake Jipe, Mombasa), Tanzania (Ngorongoro Crater and Mbulu Highlands), Angola (Mocamedes, Luanda, Huila n. to Capelongo), highlands of s. and e. Zaire (Lake Albert s. to Shaba), Uganda (Lake Victoria, Lake Kyoga), Rwanda, Burundi, Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Botswana, South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, and Madagascar. Formerly on Mauritius prior to 1812.
(3) W. Caspian Sea coast of Azerbaijan (Lake Aggel), nw. Iran and Turkey. Syria (Lake Antioch).
(4) Iraq and sw., n. and e. Iran (Khuzistan, coastal s. Caspian Sea from Talych to lower Atrek River on Turkmenia border) to sw. Afghanistan (Sistan), and w. Pakistan (n. and s. Baluchistan at Quetta Dam and Kalat Dam, and in the Mashkai Valley, and Hingol Valley).
Partially migratory to Mangyshlak Peninsula, Ashkhabad, and Kabul regions, possibly and nw. India.
(5) Pakistan (e. Baluchistan, Sind, and Punjab), Nepal, India from Kashmir and plains along the foothills of the Himalayas, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Andaman Is., Nicobar Is., n. Burma, sc. China (sw. and possibly w. Yunnan) and n. Thailand.
(6) S. Burma, s. Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, s. China, Hainan Is. and Indochina.
May migrate to Sumatra.
(7) Sumatra, Nias Is., Belitung Is., Java, Kangean Is., and Bali to s. Borneo and Sulawesi.
(8) The Philippines (Luzon, Mindoro, Panay, Bohol, Mindanao, Basilan) and possibly Talaud Is. (Karakelong) where it may be a vagrant.
(9) Palau Is.
(10) Lesser Sundas (Flores, Roti, Sumba, Sumbawa, Tanimbar, Timor, and Wetar), and Kai Is. (Kai Besar), Moluccas (Buru, Helmahera, Seram), w. Papuan Is., New Guinea (Vogelkop and w. Irian Jaya, Weyland Mountains, Sepik region) e. to Milne Bay, D’Entrecasteaux Archipelago (Goodenough Is.), Louisiade Archipelago (Misima Is. and Tagula Is.), Trobriand Is., and Woodlark Is.).
(11) Sw. Western Australia (Moore se. to Mt. Le Grand).
(12) N. and e. Australia from n. and sw. Western Australia (Pilbara, and Kimberleys) s. through e. half of Australia in Northern Territory mostly in the Top End, Queensland (sporadic in the Cape York Peninsula), New South Wales, Victoria and e. South Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, Kermadec Is. (Raoul), Chatham Is., Pitt Is., Lord Howe Is., and Norfolk Is.
Migrates to s. and wc. New Guinea e. to Port Moresby.
(13) W. Pacific Is. from Palau s. to the Admiralty Is. (Manus, Lou, Rambutyo), Bismarck Archipelago (New Britain, New Hanover, Tabar, Umboi, Watom), Solomon Is. (Bougainville, Buka), Santa Cruz Is. (Ndendi), Fiji (Rotuma and mongoose-free islands), Samoa, Tonga, Niue Is., Vanuatu, Loyalty Is., and New Caledonia.
Introduced accidentally in ec. Florida (Pembroke Pines).


No videos are available for this species


Location unknown - Date unknown Source: Jeff Blincows Sound Gallery
Location unknown - Date unknown Source: ETI BioInformatics


Clements, James F. Birds of the World: A Checklist. Vista, CA: Ibis Publishing Company, 2000.


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