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White-breasted Waterhen

The White-breasted Waterhen (Amaurornis phoenicurus) is a waterbird of the rail and crake family Rallidae.

 

They are dark slaty birds with a clean white face, breast and belly. They are somewhat bolder than most other rails and are often seen stepping slowly with their tail cocked upright in open marshes or even drains near busy roads. They are largely crepuscular in activity and during the breeding season, just after the first rains, make loud and repetitive croaking calls.

 

These birds are usually seen singly or in pairs as they forage slowly along the edge of a waterbody mainly on the ground but sometimes clambering up low vegetation. The tail is held up and jerked as they walk. They probe with their bill in mud or shallow water, also picking up food by sight. They mainly eat insects, small fish, aquatic invertebrates and seeds.

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Taken on April 22, 2012