Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research

Amaurornis phoenicurus (Pennant, 1769)

Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum/Division:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Gruiformes
Family:Rallidae
Genus:Amaurornis
Species:A. phoenicurus
Common Names:White-breasted Waterhen
Status:Common resident

Localities

Found throughout coastal areas in Singapore and its offshore islands.

Locality Map

General Biology

The White-breasted Waterhen frequents damp swampy vegetation in rural areas, orchards, marshes, mangrove, grassland, gardens, parks, canals. It is not found in the interior of forest. Its loud, repetitive croaky call can usually be heard in the evening.

Diet

Snails, worms, insects and their larvae, spiders, small fish, grass seeds and water plants.

A pair passed a cockroach to and fro for some time before one ate it up, a strange feeding behaviour.

Life Cycle

The nest is built at the edge of a pond or ditch. The clutch of 4-9 eggs are incubated for 20 days by both parents; chicks leave the nest as soon as they are hatched; and both sexes care for them (Taylor, 1996).

References

Taylor, P. B. 1996. Family Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules and Coots). In: del Hoyo, J., A. Elliott & J. Sargatal (eds.), Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vol. 3. Hoatzin to Auks. Lynx Editions, Barcelona. Pp. 108–209.

Wang, L. K. 2011. Rails. Pp. 426–427. In: Ng, P. K. L., R. T. Corlett & H. T. W. Tan (editors). Singapore Biodiversity. An Encyclopedia of the Natural Environment and Sustainable Development. Editions Didier Millet, Singapore. 552 pp.

Wang, L.K. & Hails, C.J. 2007. An annotated checklist of birds of Singapore. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, Supplement 15: 1–179, Singapore.

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