White-breasted Waterhen

White-breasted Waterhen found near Delhi Public School Tapi at Surat:
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Scientific Name : Amaurornis phoenicurus
Classification :
Kingdom     : Animalia
Phylum        : Chordata
Class             : Aves
Order            : Gruiformes
Family          : Rallidae
Genus           : Amaurornis
Species         : A. phoenicurus

How to identify this bird:
  • It is about 32 cms long
  • The adult bird has slaty grey upper parts
  • It has a very prominent white face, forelock and breast
  • It has a long leg
  • It has a stumpy tail which has a bright rusty red under the tail
  •  Juvenile has greyish face, fore-neck and breast and olive brown upper parts.

Observe the photo gallery above and check all the features mentioned above and also identify the juvenile one.

Where do I find this bird:
  • It is generally found single or in pairs in marshes and thick cover near reeds, close to pools, lakes and ditches.
  • You can find them on the way to DPS Tapi along the roadside ditches where there is a thick growth of leaves of lily.
  • You can also see them cross the road many times when there is no traffic on the road.
  • It wanders all-around during monsoon when low-lying areas are filled with water.
  •  It feeds on Worms, insects, grains, molluscs and shoots of marsh plants and paddy.
  • It is ordinarily a shy and silent bird but becomes noisy during the breeding season.
  • It makes loud, hoarse grunts, croaks and chuckles which slowly becomes monotonous like the sound of the Coppersmith barbet’s but higher in key and faster in tempo. A kook-kook-kook sound.
  • Before making calls in goes up on top of a bush where it can get a good view of the surroundings without exposing itself.
  • It nests during June – October during the monsoon. It makes its nest in bushes near water with twigs and creeper stems.
Local Names:

Hindi           : Dahak, Dawak, Dauk
Gujarati      : Davak
Marathi       : Kuku kombdi
Bengali        :  Panpaira
Assamese    : Pani Duboi
Malayalam  : Kula kozhi
Tamil            : Kanan Kozhi