This is our largest member of the group comprising crakes, rails and swamphens. The Purple Swamphen has a wide distribution as they can also be found in Africa, South and Southeast Asia. They are common in South-west WA, where there is suitable habitat.
The Swamphen seems less water-dependent than our other members of this group; some can still be found after the lake has dried in the summer. Although they mostly feed on vegetation, they often eat eggs, ducklings and very young birds of other species, especially when they are feeding their own offspring.
Drawings kindly provided by Pam. Photography and text by David Free. Audio clips provided by David Secomb.