Grey-headed swamphen (''Porphyrio poliocephalus'') is a species of
occurring from the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent to southern China and northern Thailand. It used to be considered a subspecies of the
purple swamphen
purple swamphen
, but was elevated to full species status in 2015; today the purple swamphen is considered a superspecies and each of its six races are designated full species. The male has an elaborate courtship display, holding water weeds in his bill and bowing to the female with loud chuckles. The grey-headed swamphen was introduced to North America in the late 1990s due to avicultural escapes in the
Pembroke Pines, Florida
Pembroke Pines, Florida
area. State wildlife biologists attempted to eradicate the birds, but they have multiplied and can now be found in many areas of southern
Florida Florida (, ) is a U.S. state, state located in the Southeastern United States, Southeastern region of the United States. With a population of over 21million, Florida is the List of states and territories of the United States by population, thi ...
. Ornithological authorities consider it likely that the swamphen will become an established part of Florida's avifauna.Pranty, Bill, Kim Schnitzius, Kevin Schnitzius, and Helen W. Lovell. 2000. Discovery, distribution, and origin of the purple swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio) in Florida.' '' Florida Field Naturalist'' 28: 1–11. It was added to the American Birding Association#ABA Checklist, American Birding Association checklist in February 2013.

Taxonomy and systematics

The grey-headed swamphen is one of 15 species in the genus Swamphen, ''Porphyrio''. It was classified as a subspecies of ''P. porphyrio'' until 2015, when the purple swamphen species complex was split into 6 species.


* P. p. poliocephalus- Latham, 1801: The nominate subspecies. Found from India (including the Andaman and Nicobar Islands) and Sri Lanka to southern China and northern Thailand. * P. p. seistanicus- Zarudny and Härms, 1911: Found from Iraq and southern Iran to Pakistan, Afghanistan, and northwestern India. There is also an introduced population in Florida. * P. p. caspius- Hartert, 1917 : Found near the Caspian Sea, northwestern Iran, and Turkey.


External links

{{DEFAULTSORT:swamphen, grey-headed Porphyrio, grey-headed swamphen Birds of Western Asia Birds of South Asia Birds described in 1801, grey-headed swamphen Taxa named by John Latham (ornithologist), grey-headed swamphen