Grey-headed Swamphen

Indian Bird – Grey-headed Swamphen

Grey-headed Swamphen is a species of swamphen found in the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East, South China, and up to Thailand.

In 2015 Grey-headed Swamphen has declared as full species.

Every day as when I go jogging in a lake near my home, I see these birds eating stuff in the swamps. The bright blue color of the Grey-headed swamphen looks so beautiful. many people who don’t know much about birds think this is Peacock :). They usually are territorial and don’t allow any other birds in their territory. Seen them having vigorous fights with Bronze-winged Jacanas and water hen pretty often.

Grey-headed Swamphen

Grey Headed Swamphen









Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Gruiformes
Family: Rallidae
Genus: Porphyrio
Species: P. poliocephalus
Binomial name: Porphyrio poliocephalus

There are many subspecies of purple swamphen:
– Western swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio) – southwest Europe and northwest Africa
– African swamphen (Porphyrio madagascariensis) – sub-Saharan continental Africa and Madagascar
– Grey-headed swamphen (Porphyrio poliocephalus) – Middle East, through the Indian subcontinent to southern China and northern Thailand
– Black-backed swamphen (Porphyrio indicus) – southeast Asia to Sulawesi
– Philippine swamphen (Porphyrio pulverulentus) – Philippine islands
– Australasian swamphen (Porphyrio melanotus) – Australia, New Zealand, and Oceania

In 1760 French Zoologist Mathurin Jacques Brisson introduced the genus Porphyrio.

And western Swamphen as the type species.

The genus name Porphyrio is the Latin name for “swamphen”, meaning “purple”.

The male has an elaborate courtship display, holding water weeds in his bill and bowing to the female with loud chuckles.

The species makes loud, quick, bleating, and hooting calls which are hardly bird-like in tone. Swamphens are very noisy during breeding seasons that creates a chaotic atmosphere in the lake.
This bird can fly quite a distance and can run on top of the water at great speed.

lakeside swamps are the common spots for these birds. Grey-headed Swamphens are mostly found nearby water sources like streams, rivers, lakes, and ponds.

There are many species of birds found in lakes like water hen, Bronze-winged Jacana, Pond Herons, Grey Herons, Egrets, etc.



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