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Purple Swamphen

A bright, bluish purple marshbird, with a red bill and frontal shield, dark red eyes, white undertail coverts, and brownish red legs, with huge feet (fig.). There are many subspecies, distributed worldwide, yet certain subspecies are resident breeders in Southeast Asia and Thailand, occurring throughout the country, though mainly found in the central plains. Its habitat consists of wet areas with high rainfall, such as large marshes and swamps, where it prefers the more isolated, less disturbed areas, yet it may also be found among dense vegetation at the edges of larger lakes. Purple Swamphens breed in warm reed beds and males are known for their elaborate courtship display, in which they hold water weeds in their bill. It is known by the binomial name Porphyrio porphyrio and in Thai as nok ih-kohng. See also TRAVEL PICTURES and WILDLIFE PICTURES.