When seen in good light, shows spectacular purple-and-green coloration. In dull light, looks dark, but still shows red bill and feet, pale blue forehead shield, and white undertail. Juveniles are pale brown. Found in freshwater wetlands with thick vegetation, especially water lilies. Inconspicuous and shy, and will rarely emerge for long from thick cover. Call is a mournful wailing. Similar in coloration to Purple Swamphen, but slimmer and smaller, with a much smaller bill. Also similar to Common Moorhen, but slimmer and smaller, with brighter coloration, red legs, and no yellow tip to the bill.