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Inspiring and Supporting Photographers of Australian Birds

Purple Swamphen

Purple Swamphen (Image ID 46891)
Photographed byJim Schultz on Sun 24th Jan, 2021 and uploaded on Thu 1st Jul, 2021 .
Resolution1800x1400
Viewed35
ID46891
CommentA Purple Swamphen has just awoken after roosting overnight in a paperbark tree. It is now on the way down into a swamp to begin the day’s feeding. Several swamphens were roosting in the trees within eyesight of each other at dawn, but once down in the swamp and in the water, they foraged alone or in pairs. Interestingly, by July 2021, several authorities on The Internet now have the Western Australian Purple Swamphen down as the ‘Australasian Swamphen (Porphyrio melanotus)’ with subspecies status as ‘Porphyrio porphyrio bellus’, whereas BirdLife Australia maintains the ‘Purple Swamphen’ moniker and the scientific name of Porphyrio porphyrio, with the WA population credited thus: ‘a separate subspecies common in the extreme south-west of the (Australian) continent.’ I have tried to make sense of this, but some of the available information on this species of waterbird simply does not stack up. In my naming of the WA subspecies I have settled for ‘Purple Swamphen, P.p. bellus’ as the Western Australian subspecies. If someone can enlighten me and put me out of my misery, I sure would appreciate that.
[Moderators Note: GR Cam July 2021. Taxonomy and the classification of Australian birds might appear confusing. This is likely caused by various publications and organisations using different taxonomies, some of which are up to date with the latest data, others may not be. The Australian Bird Guide for instance has chosen the use the IOC v5.4 species level taxonomy and the Birdlife Australia Working List v2 of common names. As taxonomy is fluid, especially in this era of DNA analysis, there is now a Birdlife Australia Working List v3, which is the standard used by BLP for common and scientific names. There is a link to this Working List on the BLP Submit Photos page. If you are interested in taxonomy, I recommend that you download a copy of this Working List to your computer; if it all seems way to complex all you need do is follow the names on our Submit photo page and leave the scientific debates to others. For this species the common and scientific names above are correct.]
EquipmentNikon D850 using 1/640s at F4; ISO-1250 with Nikkor AF-S 500mm f4G ED VR lens & Camera rig support: Gitzo GT3543XLS Tripod, Dietmar Nill gimbal tripod head. Technique: Walking with camera rig over shoulder, stopping whenever something interesting came along.
Post Production: Nikon ViewNX-i for Tif conversion; Adobe Photoshop Camera Raw/CC 2021 for resizing, cropping, selective and general post-processing as well as removal of halos; Topaz Pro plug-in DeNoise for mild blanket sharpening and moderate noise control. ‘Australian Bird Guide 2019’ for subspecies' distribution, data and colour checks.
LocationBaigup Wetlands, Western Australia
Keywordsadult, behaviour/display
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