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ID help swamphen - Wildlife - Vietnam - Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens (1 Viewer)

jbpixels

Well-known member
Is my ID correct ? The range map in eBird does not show the species in Vietnam. Taken in January 2020.
Thank you for your ID support.
 

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  • Black-backed Swamphen Porphyrio indicus.JPG
    Black-backed Swamphen Porphyrio indicus.JPG
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Thank you. Pretty confusing to me is ssp. poliocephalus, melanotus or indicus.

black-backed (Sunda) is indicus. Many treat this as a full species not subspecies now.

Edit: melanotus is the next closest but doesn't have the bright blue breast and underparts your bird shows. poliocephalus has a grey head.
 
black-backed (Sunda) is indicus. Many treat this as a full species not subspecies now.

Edit: melanotus is the next closest but doesn't have the bright blue breast and underparts your bird shows. poliocephalus has a grey head.
Thanks for the relevant details. Very interesting info about the "melanotus" ssp. Interesting eBird entries.
 
Thank you. Pretty confusing to me is ssp. poliocephalus, melanotus or indicus.

The OP looks good for indicus (Black-backed) of the Sundaic region with that black head rather than the resident viridis (Indochina) which has a grey head- compare ML510909231 - Gray-headed Swamphen - Macaulay Library with ML520233831 - Black-backed Swamphen - Macaulay Library which would imply it is of captive origin, hardly surprising given the location.

The form viridis is currently treated as a race of Grey-headed by the IOC and Clements while others have suggested it is better placed with Black-backed.

Finfoots, flufftails, rails, trumpeters, cranes, Limpkin – IOC World Bird List

Grahame
 
Thanks for the relevant details. Very interesting info about the "melanotus" ssp. Interesting eBird entries.
If we're sure this is a wild bird (never easy in that part of the world) you might consider adding the pic to opus. It's somewhat better than mine there
 
If we're sure this is a wild bird (never easy in that part of the world) you might consider adding the pic to opus. It's somewhat better than mine there
Indeed an important thought. The bird was able to move freely but it does indeed not include that it is a "true" wild bird.
 
I assume this is one of the collection there?
Not safe to assume that simply from the location - such places often have unenclosed wet bits that attract local wildlife. But, for other reasons given above, it can be assumed to be captive or of captive origin.
 
Not safe to assume that simply from the location - such places often have unenclosed wet bits that attract local wildlife. But, for other reasons given above, it can be assumed to be captive or of captive origin.

I know that, and didn't assume anything like that...of course wild creatures will live in zoos and wildlife parks. It was more given that previous comments had said that indicus wasn't a likely vagrant, and, if such a bird is likely to be of captive origin, then a non-wild bird in a zoo might be likely to have something to do with that zoo?

EDIT: I apologise if my tone was somewhat triggering, or if it seemed like I was dead set against a genuine wild origin for this bird. I know nothing of where the taxon should be found, how much they are prone to movement (rails are legendarily adept at vagrancy) and how close the native range is to Saigon. All I was saying is that if it is of captive origin, it may well be part of this collection, though I know that, for example, the first French Kelp Gull was in a zoo.
 
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Agree that this bird is likely captive origin. OTOH, presume not absolutely impossible that it's a vagrant. Suspect we don't know huge amounts about the distribution, movements of Black-backed: see for example the patchiness of records on the ebird map.
 

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