African Purple Swamphen or Purple Gallinule

Porphyrio madagascariensis

This chicken-sized bird, by far the largest gallinule in the region, is a common resident in reed beds, marshes and flooded grasslands. With its large red feet, bright blue plumage and red bill and frontal shield, it is easy to recognize and distinguish from any other birds in the field.

We first recorded this swamphen in March 2010 while visiting Wakkerstroom for the first time. A great spot to find and photograph this species is Marievale Bird Sanctuary near Nigel as well as Bullfrog Pan in Benoni.


Purple-Swamphen_Bullfrog-Pan,-Benoni,-South-Africa_02-March-2014-60-CR-SM-1480-SH-SH-WEB-2 Purple Swamphen / Bullfrog Pan, Benoni, South Africa / 02 March 2014 (Edited) Marievale-440 Purple Swamphen / Bullfrog Pan, Benoni, South Africa / 02 March 2014 Marie-&-Sandton-372 African Purple Swamphen or Purple Gallinule / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, South Africa African Purple Swamphen or Purple Gallinule – juvenile / Mkhombo Dam Nature Reserve, South Africa / 15 December 2011 African Purple Swamphen or Purple Gallinule / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, South Africa / 29 July 2011
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