Porphyrio porphyrio   Linnaeus,  1758 (Bird)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Aves

Image copyrights: Pbase

Color: A handsome but clumsy purplish blue rail with long red legs and toes. The bald red forehead (frontal shield) continued back from the short heavy red bill, and the white patch under the stumpy tail (conspicuous when flicked up at each step) are leading clues.

Voice: Calls- A variety of loud hooting, cackling and hoarse notes. Particularly noisy during breeding season. Male has ludicrous courtship display, holding water weeds in his bill and bowing to female with loud chuckles.

Habits: Typical rail. Affects reedy swamps, and margins of jheels overgrown with rushes. Stalks or skulks through the vegetation with the same jerk bobbing of head and flicking of tail as the waterhen, and the flight and general behaviour of the two are also similar. Occasionally clambers awkwardly up the reed stems.

Sexes alike. Pairs, or parties, in swampy reed-beds.

Nesting: Season- June to September (SW. monsoon). Nest- a large pad of interwoven reed flags etc., on a mass of floating debris or amongst matted reeds slightly above water level. Eggs- 3 to 7, pale yellowish stone to reddish buff, blotched and spotted with reddish brown.

Synonym (s)

Common Name (s)
• Purple Moorhen
• Purple Swamphen (English)
• Neel Kikadi (Gujarati)
• Karma (Hindi)
• Kaim (Hindi)
• Kharim (Hindi)
• Kalim (Hindi)
Economic Importance and Threats

Habitat:  Sandy, Muddy, Coastal
Trophic Level:  Consumer
Prey:  Shoots and vegetable matter, also insects and molluscs
IUCN Status:  Least Concern



Literature Source(s)
  • (2001) Sanctuary Asia natural history species: Species checklist: Birds Sanctuary Asia Sanctuary Magazine Available at - http://www.sanctuaryasia.com/resources/speciechklist/bird.php
  • Tikader, BK (1984) Birds of Andaman and Nicobar Island ZSI, Kolkata 1-167 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Johnsingh, AJT (2001) The Kalakad-Mundanthurai tiger reserve: A global heritage of biological diversity Current Science Indian Acadamy of Sciences 80(3) 378-388 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Balasubramanian, T Lagoons of India Environmental Information System Centre, Envis Publication Series: 3/2001 105 pp Available at - http://aucasmbenvis.org/files/04-Publications/lagoon%20status.pdf
  • Kumar, A (2002) Avifauna of Kumbhalgarh wildlife sanctuary in the Aravalli hills of Rajasthan Zoos' Print Journal 17(4) 764-768 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Barua, M (2001) Mid winter waterfowl census at Pobitora wildlife sanctury for the year 2000 Zoos' Print Journal 16(5) 500-501 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Gupta, B and Rathinasabapathy, B (1998) Wild bird trade in Coimbtore, south India Zoos' Print Journal 13 1 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at - http://www.marinespecies.org
  • (2003) IUCN Red list of threatened species Available at - http://www.iucnredlist.org/
  • Ali, S (1977) The book of Indian birds Bombay Natural History Society 175 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • PBase Available at - http://www.pbase.com/
  • Srinivasulu, C (2004) Birds of kawal wildlife sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh , India Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 101(1) 3-25 Available at - NIO, Goa

Page last updated on:2012-02-16

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