African Purple Swamphen

Introduction: African purple swamphens (Porphyrio madagascariensis) are found in a number of water type habitats that include slow running rivers and still waters that are fringed with bulrushes, sedges and reeds. Marshes and swamps with permanent water are also a favourite.

Distribution: Scattered and patchy populations in the Caprivi, Etosha National Park, Windhoek, Namib Desert coastal regions, Fish River Canyon and the Orange River.

Diet: Clambers around in swamp and marsh vegetation for mainly vegetable matter such as roots, stems, flowers and seeds. Also eats snails, insects, worms, leeches, frog and fish eggs, small fish, snails, frogs, birds' eggs, nestlings and carrion. Also eats

Description: Medium to large-sized rail with short but heavy bills adapted for biting through tough vegetation. Green, blue or purple plumage. Porphyrio is Greek for purple.

Breeding: Between 2 and 5 eggs are laid in large, shallow cup made from bulrushes, grass and reeds. Young can walk and swim soon after hatching.

Size: 46cm.

Weight: 635g.

Birds of Namibia Wildlife of Namibia

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