Swamphens and Moorhens at Manly Dam

Purple Swamphens and Dusky Moorhens look similar, but are quite easy to tell apart once you’ve seen them together. Purple Swamphens are altogether showier: bigger, with brighter colours, and a more confident way of tackling the world. Dusky moorhens are smaller, and move in short dashes, accompanied by a lot of jerking of the head and tail. They almost seem to apologise for their presence. The Purple Swamphen’s beak is entirely red, whereas the Dusky Moorhen has a yellow tip to its beak.

I spotted both birds on the same patch of water at Manly Dam. First, a Purple Swamphen:

Here’s a close-up of those amazing feet, shot when the bird obligingly came up on shore close by me:

Purple Swamphen

Common name: Purple Swamphen

Scientific name: Porphyrio porphyrio

Approximate length: 50 cm

Date spotted: 29 December 2013

Season: Summer

Location: Manly Dam Reserve, New South Wales, Australia

Latitude/longitude: -33.776626,151.246762

Next, a Dusky Moorhen:

Here’s a nice still of the moorhen sharing the shot with a water lily:

Dusky Moorhen

Common name: Dusky Moorhen

Scientific name: Gallinula tenebrosa

Approximate length: 40 cm

Date spotted: 29 December 2013

Season: Summer

Location: Manly Dam Reserve, New South Wales, Australia

Latitude/longitude: -33.776626,151.246762

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About Sarah Maddox

Technical writer, author and blogger in Sydney

Posted on 2013/12/29, in Birds, Moorhen, Swamphen and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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