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Black-backed Swamphen - BirdForum Opus

Revision as of 08:02, 21 August 2023 by THEFERN-13145 (talk | contribs) (change photo)
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Alternative Name: Sunda Swamphen

Black-backed Swamphen
Photo by THE_FERN
Muara Angke, Jakarta, Indonesia

, July 2023

Porphyrio indicus


  • Red bill and frontal shield
  • Large feet
  • Black back and head


Found in Sumatra, Java, Bali, Borneo and Sulawesi.


Formerly considered conspecific with African Swamphen, Grey-headed Swamphen, Western Swamphen, Philippine Swamphen and Australasian Swamphen under the name Purple Swamphen.


Black-backed Swamphen
Photo by THE_FERN
Muara Angke, Jakarta, Indonesia

, July 2023

This is a monotypic species[1].


Reed beds and wet areas with high rainfall, swamps, lake edges and damp pastures.


The birds live in pairs and larger communities.


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.


Diet includes tender shoots and vegetable-like matter, invertebrates (like snails), small fish, and eggs from nests and also eat ducklings. It is a good swimmer, especially for a bird without webbed feet.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. 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.
  3. Sangster, G. 1998. "Purple Swamp-hen is a complex of species." Dutch Birding (20) 13-22.
  4. Gill, F and D Donsker (Eds). 2015. IOC World Bird Names (version 5.3). Available at http://www.worldbirdnames.org/.
  5. Wikipedia
  6. Absolute Astronomy

Recommended Citation

External Links

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