Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Purple Swamphen

The Purple Swamphen also known as the Purple coot or Purple Moorhen is a large bird of the family, Rallidae. South Asian species of this bird have a green back and are overall blue in color. The bird is about chicken sized, with bright plumage and red bill, making it unmistakable to recognize. The birds have elaborate courtship behaviour, with the male holding water reeds in its bill and bowing to the females with quite loud chuckles. The nests are interwoven reeds on floating debris above water levels. An interesting fact to note - multiple females use the nest for laying eggs and they share the incubation duties ( communal nesting).

Purple Swamphens normally live in pairs and larger communities. They eat tender roots and vegetable matter. They also feed on small vertebrae like snails and can also prey on other eggs and small ducklings. The birds are extremely good swimmers, specially since they are birds without webbed feet. The birds are clumsy in flight but this does not inhibit them from flying long distances.

I sighted the Purple Swamphen at a two different suburbs of Coimbatore. A friend of mine had accompanied me in trying to gauge the number of ponds/lakes around coimbatore and the amount of diversity they supported. We almost missed these birds if not for the attractive plumage the birds had. What caught our eye was the brilliant purple green feathers and the brilliant red beak. Many of such of these ponds have been destroyed by man's greediness and selfishness. These ponds and water bodies perform a very important task. During rainy season they become the natural store house for all the excess water and rejuvenate the ground water table.

Click on the pictures for larger versions

16 Comments:

Rajesh said...

Interesting and beautiful shots.

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Angad Achappa said...

Nice blog, shall visit it regularly... :)

Regards,
Angad Achappa

Neha Sarin said...

A collective sincere effort is required at all levels iF we really want to make a difference and want to improve the world around us..when small harmful actions are repeated across the world they build up to create problems.....Similarly, one small, isolated action to preserve the environment not only improve matters on its own, but if these actions are repeated everyday by millions of people, they will have a significant effect.

Good job!
With best wishes & Regards.

Ryan said...

Excellent blog! I also run a blog based around wildlife conservation, in particular the grey partridge http://greypartridge.info and http://rclsporting.com

Kadir said...

Nice pics. I love them all. Thanks for sharing!!!

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umesh said...

Hi, You have written wonderful blog about wildlife conversation, I like it thank you so much for posting it!

Umesh said...

Your blog is so informative, Thank you so much for posting it!

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