One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A marshbird of the rail family, with a purplish-blue head and breast and a large red bill, found throughout the Old World.
Porphyrio porphyrio, family Rallidae
- ‘Other birds I saw near the pond were coot, moorhen, purple swamphen and a few Gray Wagtails walking around near the water.’
- ‘At the pond there were a few white-winged terns, a black-crowned night heron, a purple swamphen, and some blue-cheeked bee-eaters.’
- ‘Iridescent purple swamphens, lavished with outrageous lipstick (their bills and frontal shields actually) stomp over the leaves on gigantic spider feet, bobbing their ludicrous white-handkerchief tails behind them.’
- ‘Other birds that seemed to be flushed out by the truck were a few moorhens, a single purple swamphen, and a pair of marbled teals.’
- ‘I also saw a few coots and a purple swamphen near the edge of the reeds.’
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