Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The White-breasted Water Hen



The white breasted water hen is a shy bird, ever so furtive in its movements. Years ago we could only hear them as we were surrounded by marshy land. But now that most of the rice fields have disappeared and apartments have come up, we see them in our yards now, foraging in our gardens. But they still nest in some of the marshy patches left untouched by man so far. Their call is raucous and they tend to get vocal during the breeding season around dawn and dusk.
Although the bird's colours are predominantly dark grey and white, the undertail feathers are rust brown. The beak is greenish yellow and the base is red.


I often see them pecking on the ground much like the way chickens do. Their diet includes seeds, insects and small fish. They also nibble on small snails, worms and snack on shoots and roots of marsh plants.


This is my entry for World Bird Wednesday. Click on the link and check out some of the most stunning bird photos from across the planet.

14 comments:

Martha Z said...

Another new bird to me. The variety of bird life around the wold is amazing.
Here in California many rice farms are flooded after harvest and provide great habitat for migrating birds. Some rice fields have been put into conservation easements so that they can not be sold for development.
California's great valley is wonderful farmland but there are also some large tracts that have been turned into national wildlife refuges. I've been exploring these lately.
Great detail in the dragon fly in your header.

Andrew said...

A beautiful bird to see....very similar to our Moorhen.

Michelle said...

I love to learn about all these birds from all over..I had not heard of this and given that it s shy, it's all the more special to see it in a photo as good as these are...

Pat said...

Nice capture! I also love the dragonfly in your header.

Ginny said...

I have never seen a hen like this, real interesting!

mick said...

Great photos and a very interesting bird. I hope that no more apartments go up around the area so you can still see some of these birds.

Gary said...

New to me. Grea captures. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Arija said...

Interesting to see the different varieties of similar birds around the world.

eileeninmd said...

Very pretty bird and very similiar to the moorhen. Great photos.

lotusleaf said...

I have not seen this bird here. Your photos are very good.

Springman said...

A new bird for me thank you very much! Interesting their relationship to the rice fields, seems like that would be a rich habitat. Thanks for sharing!

heyBJK said...

I've never seen one of these...or ever heard of them for that matter. Great looking bird!

Liz said...

Love that first one!

Stephanie said...

This is one big bird! They eat little fishes? Wow!