Scientific Name: Porphyrio poliocephalus
Malay Name: Panglin Biasa
Chinese Name: 紫水鸡
Range: Breeding Range: Middle East and Indian subcontinent to s China, n Thailand, Andaman and Nicobar Is.
Taxonomy: Polytypic. Subspecies are: seistanicus, poliocephalus, viridis.
Local Subspecies: viridis
Size: 28-29 cm
Identification: Distinguished from Common Moorhen by bigger size, dark purplish blue overall plumage, red stout bill, frontal shield and legs, whitish undertail-coverts and blackish-brown wings. Juvenile resembles adult but has paler plumage and duller frontal shield. Distinguished from the similar Black-backed Swamphen by generally greyer upperparts and head, as well as usually bigger frontal shield that features raised ridges by the side. Hybrids of the two species may occur but confirmatory evidence is lacking, and their taxonomic relationships are also being debated.
Similar looking species: Common Moorhen
Habitat: Freshwater wetlands.
Behaviour/Ecology: Often seen feeding in the open by picking up food material while walking on floating vegetation.
Local Status: Former resident and very rare visitor
- An Indonesian Archipelago Wishlist: Birds to Look Out For (Science)
- Bird List Revision for January 2018 (Revisions)
- Checklist Revision for August 2022 (Revisions)
Sound Recordings: xeno-canto Link
Wikipedia Entry: Wikipedia Link
eBird Species page: eBird (Gray-headed Swamphen)
Jeyarajasingam, A., & Pearson, A. (2012). A Field Guide to the Birds of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. Oxford University Press.
Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.
Singapore Birds Project. (n.d.). Grey-headed Swamphen. Retrieved on May 31, 2023 from https://singaporebirds.com/species/grey-headed-swamphen.