Purple is beautiful…and common!

The purple moorhen eats a variety of food, of both plant and animal origin. This shimmering purple beauty is great fun to watch!

Most of us in our city would have gone to Lalbagh (or any of the other lakes)  at some time or the other… but the next time you do, do go to the lake and look at one very common bird…so common that we often do not see the incredible beauty it is!

Purple Moorhen with Waterlily. Pic: Deepa Mohan

This is the Purple Moorhen, or the Purple Swamphen. The colours of this purple bird shine iridescently in the sunshine, and it looks as if it’s got bright red lipstick on!

You can find these birds in large numbers, clambering along the reeds on the lake. With their long legs, they are able to walk easily on the lily pads (leaves). They eat the tender shoots and the vegetable matter; they also, on occasion, eat snails, eggs, small fish… and ducklings! So they can be called omnivores.

An interesting fact is that ancient Romans regarded these as noble birds, and did not eat them! They were kept as decorative birds in the mansions of the wealthy. However, they do not seem to form part of the regular diet of non-vegetarian Kannadigas!

They make a lot of cacophonic, unbird-like noise, and often fight with each other.. so they are great fun to watch. Enjoy the shimmering purple of these birds on your next visit to Lalbagh, Puttenahalli, or any of the lakes that dot our city!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Similar Story

New look, old problems: Residents question Rs 43-crore Retteri Lake restoration plan

Residents want the government to urgently address the problem of sewage contamination and encroachments on the lake.

As the population of metropolitan cities like Chennai continues to grow, the government faces an uphill task β€” coming up with alternative solutions to provide drinking water for the city. While schemes such as desalination plants aim to meet water needs, the public seeks more natural and environment-friendly water sources. This is where Retteri Lake, one of the major lakes in Chennai, plays a pivotal role. When Chennai faced a major drought in 2019, water from Retteri Lake was used to meet the shortfall in drinking water supply. The lake also remains a source of groundwater recharge for the neighbourhood.…

Similar Story

25,000 suffer heatstroke, 61 dead: India reeling under heat

Why have temperatures soared above 40 degrees? Whom does the heatwave affect the most? Watch this video, as we try to decode the heatwave in India.

India has been under the grip of a devastating heat wave for the past few months. Since April this year several parts of the country have seen abnormally high temperatures. For instance,  Bengaluru recorded a maximum temperature of 38.5 degrees Celsius on a Sunday, the city's hottest April day since 2016. The city and parts of Southwestern regions of the country have experienced relief with the arrival of monsoon. Representational image. Civic workers in the heat in Chennai. Pic: Padmaja Jayaraman However, conditions appear to be dire in North, Central and Eastern India. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued…