Scientific Name: Amaurornis phoenicurus
Malay Name: Ruak-ruak Biasa
Chinese Name: 白胸苦恶鸟
Range: Found from the Indian subcontinent, Southern China to Southeast Asia with northern population wintering in Southeast Asia.
Taxonomy: Polytypic. Subspecies are: phoenicurus, insularis, midnicobarica, leucomelana.
Local Subspecies: phoenicurus
Size: 28.5-36 cm
Identification: Adult has white face and underparts contrasting with dark slaty-grey upperparts, chestnut undertail-coverts and distinctive yellowish-green bill with red base. Juvenile has browner upperparts, dark spots on ear-coverts and less white over eye.
Habitat: Various kinds of well-vegetated wetlands, pools and streams in open forest, mangroves and adjacent open areas, track, roadsides, gardens and parks.
Behaviour/Ecology: Not shy and frequently forages in the open.
Local Status: Very common resident
Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2016)
Location: Any patch of suitable habitat.
- 8 resident bird calls you should know from Singapore’s parks (Birding Starter Pack)
- Local extinctions of Singapore birds (Science)
Conservation Status: IUCN Red List Page
Sound Recordings: xeno-canto Link
Wikipedia Entry: Wikipedia Link
eBird Species page: eBird (White-breasted Waterhen)
BirdLife International. (2016). Amaurornis phoenicurus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22692640A95217833.en. Accessed on 1 January 2023
Jeyarajasingam, A., & Pearson, A. (2012). A Field Guide to the Birds of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. Oxford University Press.
Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.
Singapore Birds Project. (n.d.). White-breasted Waterhen. Retrieved on June 1, 2023 from https://singaporebirds.com/species/white-breasted-waterhen.