“Birds never fail to surprise me with their ingenuity and range of diet. The diet of the White-breasted Waterhen (Amaurornis phoenicurus) is not well recorded locally but is large and varied.
“I have observed them feeding on insects, earthworms, some molluscs, grass seeds, roots/shoots of some plants.
“General foraging in ditches, drains, mud patches and shallow rivers is for worms but must also include small fish.
“Today I was pleasantly surprised to see one hop up 1.5 meters to reach some bananas. I saw this happen three times, possibly partly due to my presence giving concern to the bird but I suspect also to feed the young that was hidden in the grass below.
“The bird would take pieces of the fruit and hop off to the ground which supports juvenile feeding.”
Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
16th February 2013
Location: Tambun Interior, Perak, Malaysia
Habitat: Fish farming, ex-mining pools, orchards, secondary growth