White-breasted Waterhens-Amaurornis phoenicurus phoenicurus are a bird species that you can easily find in Singapore in many locations. They can often be found foraging in the concrete drains as you can see in the header photo. The White-breasted Waterhen is also common in parks and gardens and many visitors to Gardens by the Bay will be familiar with them. Just like the Comb-crested Jacana of Northern Australia the White-breasted Waterhen can be seen hopping across the vegetation in the water bodies. They are also not particularly shy and can often be observed walking along the paths and foraging out in the open.

White-breasted Waterhen walking on vegetation

Generally the White-breasted Waterhen are found at ground level foraging, although they do nest off the ground. However, on one occasion we noticed a White-breasted Waterhen balanced precariously in the tall vegetation. The bird appeared to be looking for food on the underside of the leaves rather than on the ground.

White-breasted Waterhen away from ground level

Apparently in years gone by the White-breasted Waterhen was eaten in Singapore. Thankfully their population is stable nowadays and they can be seen widely across Singapore. There are a huge variety of birds throughout Singapore and the White-breasted Waterhen appears to have had no problem surviving in a variety of habitats across the island despite rapid development over the years.

Written by Clare M
Clare and her husband, Grant, have lived permanently in Broome, Western Australia since 1999 after living in various outback locations around Western Australia and Darwin. She has lived in the Middle East and the United States and traveled extensively in Europe. She monitors Pied Oystercatchers breeding along a 23km stretch of Broome's coastline by bicycle and on foot. She chooses not to participate in social media, but rather wander off into the bush for peace and tranquility. Thankfully she can write posts in advance and get away from technology!