What is the difference between the Australasian Swamphen and the Western Swamphen?
The Australasian Swamphen (Porphyrio melanotus) and the Western Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio) are both small, chicken-sized, wetland birds. Swamphen is pronounced Swamp Hen.
The Australasian Swamphen and the Western Swamphen both have a red frontal shield above their thick red beak.
The Australasian Swamphen and the Western Swamphen both have pink-red feet with four long non-webbed toes.
The Australasian Swamphen and the Western Swamphen both have orange-brown eyes.
The Australasian Swamphen is black with a purple throat and chest. The Western Swamphen has iridescent green and blue body feathers, with a paler blue face.
The Australasian Swamphen has a brighter, darker red frontal shield and red beak than the Western Swamphen.
The Australasian Swamphenis native to Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Australia and the Moluccas, Aru and Kai Islands.
The Western Swamphenis native to the Iberian Peninsula, France, Sardinia, and northwest Africa.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM