White-breasted Waterhen (14)
|Friends, I posted the picture of this bird in July this year when it was mothering its newly hatched chicks. I had mentioned in the note that a similar brood had failed to survive last year. Well, the same thing happened this year too. The very next day on July 22, some predator(s) attacked the poor family and killed all of them including the mother. However, it was evident that the mother bird had given a tough fight to protect her babies when we looked at her dead body. Even today, when I think about that family, my heart gets heavy with sorrow.|
In this picture, the mother is hiding 2 of her chicks under her wing. She is sitting atop a lotus leaf in our school lotus pond.
We wrote a requiem for the brave mother after the tragedy and posted it on the School's Facebook profile. You can see it in Workshop.
The white-breasted waterhen (Amaurornis phoenicurus) is a waterbird of the rail and crake family Rallidae that is widely distributed across Southeast Asia and the Indian Subcontinent. They are dark slaty birds with a clean white face, breast and belly. They are somewhat bolder than most other rails and are often seen stepping slowly with their tail cocked upright in open marshes or even drains near busy roads. They are largely crepuscular in activity and during the breeding season, just after the first rains, make loud and repetitive croaking calls.