The large, flamboyant purple swamphens (genus Porphyrio) demonstrate extraordinary dispersal capabilities, with evidence of multiple invasions that have resulted in divergences of size, colour, and other traits. Seven species of purple swamphens are currently recognized. Principal among these is the widespread purple swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio), which occurs from Africa and the Mediterranean east to the Pacific. We are exploring the evolution of this bird to better understand the way dispersal and natural selection interact. To do this we are seeking the support of enthusiastic birders. What we need are tissue samples, locality information and where possible photographs to verify plumage colouration.