- Porphyrio poliocephalus
- Red bill and frontal shield
- Greyish head
- Large feet
- Green back
Three subspecies recognized:
- P. p. caspius - Caspian Sea to north-western Iran and Turkey
- P. p. seistanicus - Iraq and southern Iran to Afghanistan, Pakistan and north-western India
- P. p. poliocephalus - India to Sri Lanka, southern China, northern Thailand, Andaman, Nicobar Islands
Reed beds and wet areas with high rainfall, swamps, lake edges and damp pastures.
The birds live in pairs and larger communities. They are strong swimmers.
The birds make a nest of woven reeds on floating debris or amongst reeds. More than one female will use the nest and they share incubating the eggs for 24 days. Each bird lays 3-6 speckled eggs and the nest can contain up to 12 eggs.
Although they are mainly vegetarian, they are omnivorous. Their diet consists of vegetable matter such as roots, stems, shoot and leaves etc, from aquatic plants. They also eat snails, small fish bird eggs and ducklings.
- Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2016. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2016, with updates to August 2016. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
- Trewick, S.A. 1997. "Flightlessness and phylogeny amongst endemic rails (Aves: Rallidae) of the New Zealand region." Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. (352) 429-46.
- Sangster, G. 1998. "Purple Swamp-hen is a complex of species." Dutch Birding (20) 13-22.
- Gill, F and D Donsker (Eds). 2015. IOC World Bird Names (version 5.3). Available at http://www.worldbirdnames.org/.
- Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved November 2015)
- Absolute Astronomy
- BirdForum Opus contributors. (2021) Grey-headed Swamphen. In: BirdForum, the forum for wild birds and birding. Retrieved 21 January 2021 from https://www.birdforum.net/wiki/Grey-headed_Swamphen