Purple Swamphen in Birdata

To: "Birding-Aus" <>
Subject: Purple Swamphen in Birdata
From: "Roger Giller" <>
Date: Fri, 15 May 2009 23:35:10 +1000
I noticed the current "Bird of the Week" in Birdata is the Purple Swamphen.
The following caught my attention:-

Though most Purple Swamphens are sedentary, readily remaining at their chosen 
wetlands, a few are far more adventurous. This wanderlust has been illustrated 
by the establishment of populations of Swamphens on both Lord Howe and Norfolk 
Islands in the late 19th century. These birds originated from populations in 
eastern Australia or, perhaps, New Zealand, so this must have entailed flying 
vast distances over the open ocean -- no mean feat for such an ungainly flier.

Does this mean that after being quite happy to stay in Australia and/or NZ for 
millions of years they suddenly decided to migrate to two isolated islands 
about 100 years after Europeans "settled" them.

Surely it is far more likely that human intervention played some part in their 


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