White-breasted Waterhen (Amaurornis phoenicurus)

The White-breasted Waterhen, also known as the Amaurornis phoenicurus, is a medium-sized bird in the rail family Rallidae. It is typically found in Southeast Asia and is known for its distinctive white breast, red beak, and long toes that help it navigate through wetlands and shallow waters.

These birds typically prefer to live near water sources like marshes, ponds, and streams. They are quite adaptable and can be found in a variety of habitats, including forest edges, grasslands, and agricultural fields. Their diet consists of a mix of insects, small invertebrates, seeds, and plant matter.

One of the most unique characteristics of the White-breasted Waterhen is its vocalizations. These birds are quite noisy, producing a variety of calls and songs throughout the day and night. They are particularly vocal during breeding season when males will often call out to attract a mate.

Breeding season for these birds varies depending on their location, but typically occurs during the rainy season. Males will build nests comprised of grasses and other plant materials in a dense thicket or near the water's edge. Females will lay up to six eggs, which both parents will help incubate for around 20 days. Once hatched, young chicks will stay with their parents for several weeks until they are old enough to fend for themselves.

Despite having a fairly large population and being classified as a species of Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the White-breasted Waterhen does face certain threats. Habitat loss due to land development and pollution of wetland habitats are two of the main factors affecting their populations. Additionally, these birds are sometimes hunted for their meat and eggs, or as a result of their perceived nuisance status as crop pests.

Overall, the White-breasted Waterhen is an interesting and adaptable bird that is an important part of wetland ecosystems throughout Southeast Asia.

Other names

Amaurornis phoenicurus



White-breasted Waterhen

polla pitblanca



bjeloprsa štijoka

chřástal běloprsý

Hvidbrystet Rørhøne



Râle à poitrine blanche


Rallo acquaiolo pettobianco


baltakrūtis amaurornis


bagiewnik białopierśny


Белогрудый погоныш

Belolika barska kokica

kohútec bieloprsý

Gallineta pechiblanca


Ak Göğüslü Suyelvesi

багновик білогрудий


fehérmellű lápityúk

Kareo padi

baltkrūšu ormanītis