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.