Sexes alike. Upperparts and face are a dusky black. Neck, breast and belly are a deep blue. The robust biil and face shield are scarlet red. Undertail is white.
A loud, harsh screech.
Throughout the eastern half of the continent, the Kimberlys and south west WA.
Nests throughout the year. A platform of trampled reeds sparsely lined with grass.
Purple Swamphens are omnivorous and will scavenge food in streets and parklands adjacent to wetlands. Known to take other nestlings. They use their long unwebbed toes to cling to reeds. Flies between clumps of reeds – seldom swims. Mostly in small territorial parties, often scrapping with others. Common and at times abundant. If conditions are right, they are sedentary but can be nomadic during dry times.