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Old Saturday 18th November 2017, 02:46   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Florida
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SW Florida - Purple / Grey-headed Swamphen?

Seen at Harns Marsh, Lehigh Acres.

Gray-headed Swamphen - Porphyrio poliocephalus?
Purple Swamphen - Porphyrio porphyrio?
Or are they same?

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Old Saturday 18th November 2017, 10:51   #2
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Depends on which taxonomic authority you follow. Personally I'm convinced by the more recent studies which suggest there are several species involved (so poliocephalus here) . I read that there's speculation (but not much evidence) that the Florida birds are of mixed parentage. If this is true, it wouldn't necessarily invalidate the revised classification. Even under the biological species concept (a species is something which doesn't breed with other such species) hybrids occur.
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Old Saturday 18th November 2017, 12:58   #3
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Most listing authorities in the US follow the AOU (now AOS), which lumps all into Purple Swamphen. Usually eBird follows the AOS, but for mostly Old World birds they make their own decisions and they recognize the split. Florida birds are Gray-headed. As The Fern stated, there has been talk of some Purples (sensu strictu) here as well, but the Gray-headed form now totally dominates.

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