No Lonely Dusk and Dawn at Koh Chang with White-Breasted Waterhens
If you go kayak at Koh Chang especially in some marshland coastal areas of small islands where mangroves are commonly situated, you could encounter the White-breasted waterhen dipping its beak and picking small fish or mollusks. The White-breasted waterhen which has a scientific name of Amaurornis phoenicurus is a resident bird species in the island of Koh Chang but not endemic. It is widely distributed across Southeast Asia and the Indian sub-continent.
The White-breasted Waterhen has a white face, neck and breast. Its upperparts and flanks are mainly dark gray. It has short tail, yellow bill and legs and long toes. The lower belly and undertail of this species are colored cinnamon. At a glance male and female White-breasted Waterhens seem similar but bodily the females are slightly smaller than males. Among the rail and crake family, this species is the bolder kind. White-breasted Waterhens are often seen in open marshes or even drains near busy roads of Koh Chang with their tails cockled upright. They are largely active primarily during twilight. They are recognizable by their loud and repetitive croaking calls especially at dusk and dawn.
They 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, picking up food by sight. They mainly eat insects, small fish, aquatic invertebrates and fruit seeds. They nest in a dry location on the ground in marsh vegetation, laying 6-7 eggs. Courtship involves bowing, billing and nibbling. Both sexes incubate the eggs for about 19 days and take care of the chicks. Chicks often dive underwater to escape predation. Adults are said to build a roost or brood nest where young chicks and the adults roost.