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Purple Swamphen

Purple Swamphen
Photo Information
Copyright: Colin McQueen (McQueenca) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 131 W: 11 N: 226] (1387)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2013-01-29
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 7D
Exposure: f/8, 1/160 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2013-02-18 4:37
Viewed: 3077
Points: 32
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This photo was taken in sunny conditions. A 300mm c/w 1.4 converter was used. The photo has been cropped

Purple Swamphen
Porphyrio porphyrio

Unlike many wetland species which have dull plumage to aid camouflage among the rank vegetation, the Purple Swamphen has a resplendent purple-blue neck, breast and belly, and a gaudy, oversized bill and frontal shield, both of which are bright red, as are its beady eyes. And when a Swamphen walks away from you, it usually flicks its tail up and down to reveal a gleaming white rump, which contrasts with the birdís black upperparts. The entire combination is dazzling when ambling across a sunlit grassy sward.


The Purple Swamphen is a large rail. It is mainly dusky black above, with a broad dark blue collar, and dark blue to purple below. As the Purple Swamphen walks, it flicks its tail up and down, revealing its white undertail. The bill is red and robust, and the legs and feet orange-red. For such a bulky bird, the Swamphen is an accomplished flier and will readily take to the air to escape danger. In flight, the long legs and elongated toes trail behind or hang underneath the body. Purple Swamphens are proficient swimmers, but prefer to wander on the edges of the water, among reeds and on floating vegetation.


Purple Swamphens are common throughout eastern and northern Australia, with a separate subspecies common in the extreme south-west of the continent. Birds have transported themselves from Australia to New Guinea and New Zealand and throughout the islands of the south-west Pacific. It has been suggested that the New Zealand population of Purple Swamphens (locally called the Pukeko) originated in Australia.


The diet of the Purple Swamphen includes the soft shoots of reeds and rushes and small animals, such as frogs and snails. However, it is a reputed egg stealer and will also eat ducklings when it can catch them. The Purple Swamphen uses its long toes to grasp food while eating.


Purple Swamphens are generally found in small groups and studies have shown that these consist of more males than females. More than one male will mate with a single female. All family members, and occasionally the young from a previous brood, share in incubation and care of the young. The nest consists of a platform of trampled reeds with the surrounding vegetation sometimes being used to form a shelter. Often two broods will be raised in a year.

Source birdlife.org.au

ramthakur, Hussain58, maaciejka, rousettus, CeltickRanger has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Deft use of a converter works wonders, as is evident in this rather large image of a Purple Swamphen. Colin. The Purple Moorhen I once captured on the banks of river Yamuna in New Delhi was bluish in colour.
Excellent capture from a good point of view that shows the bird in perfect clarity and with rich colours on it.
Thanks and regards.

  • Great 
  • IronM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 144 W: 3 N: 345] (2608)
  • [2013-02-18 5:36]

Hi Colin,
very interesting spicies I have never seen before, excellent details, lovely colors , composition !
Best regards !

Hello Colin,
An excellent capture with great details and clarity,perfect exposure and PoV.Lovely composition with beautiful pose.
TFS and my regards,

構圖也很美麗 尤其是這表情 令人猜測

Hello Colin,

Hope you are well friend. I owe you many comments, you know and am thankful for your admirable critiques to my photos which I won't be able to match.
This is superb shot of this moving purple swamphen which we call purple moorhen. No doubt the sunlight is harsh but your focus and control of terrible light conditions have given us a wonderful shot which amply shows the fine colours of this common bird of our countryside ponds and reservoirs.
Thanks a lot for sharing a really superb shot with good eye contact....take care...warm regards/Abid

hello Colin
super sharpness picture with great details and beautiful colours
thanks greeting lou

Ciao Colin, great capture of lovely walking bird with fantastic colors, fine details and splendid sharpness, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio

Hi Colin,
great point of view. Amazing colours and composition. Very good light.
Thanks for sharing,

Hello Colin,
Exceptional species.You have captured it nicely with perfect colour,light and sharpness.I haven't seen this species,except picture.
Thanks for showing us,
Kind regards,

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2013-02-18 15:02]

Hi Colin,the best light for an excellent result,magnificent capture of this rare guest of TN walking,great exposure and great plumage details,i like it!Have a nice day and thanks,Luciano

Interesting bird and great photo Colin! Good composition, wonderful colors and impressive sharpness!

Hello Colin,
what a nice capture of pretty Porphyrio porphyrio, with nice focus, POV and exposure. Nicely composed.
This species presents in Turkiye. Formerly it was rare, but recently more common relatively.
Coloration a bit different between Turkish and Australian populations. Ours is more bluish.
However both of them very beautiful. Thanks for sharing.
All the best

Ciao Colin. Details and sharp very good for the bird in action. Brigh colours exciting light.


Hello Colin

Excellent close-up photo of this wader bird,
fine POV and framing, beautiful light,
excellent focus, sharpness, and details, TFS


  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2013-02-20 23:31]

Hello Colin
such a lovely shot. At my place, its so difficult to approach this bird.
you did excellently in giving a sharp shot with lively details.
The lighting is splendid. What a lovely composition.


  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2013-02-22 22:01]

Hello Colin,
In what looks like well-managed harsh lighting this is a fine capture of the Australian Purple Swamphen.
The sharpness and DOF are excellent with great focusing on the eye that is the focal point of this fine composition.
This is great to view!
Thanks and best regards,

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