Maldivian white breasted water-hen
If you have visited us here in the Maldives you would have been sure to hear some strange bird calls. The Maldives is home to many different sea birds, some are residents and some just visit. One that seems to catch many peoples eye is the resident white breasted water-hen.
The white breasted water-hen is the national bird of the Maldives. Although they are found elsewhere in the world, there is a specific sub species that is endemic to the Maldives. They certainly like to make themselves heard, with a combination of different let’s say interesting bird calls. For such a small bird (20cm tall) they do have a loud voice!
The adults coloration is a grey top and wings, a white face that carries down the breast to the belly, with a light brown cinnamon color towards the rear under the tail feathers. They are often seen in pairs and usually breed from June to November. The chicks are incredibly cute, little balls of dark black fluffy feathers held up by stick thin legs with gigantic feet!
Over the past month we have been watching a little water-hen family. The chicks are now getting much bigger, losing their fluffy down feathers and the beginning of the white breast is coming through. We just hope it’s a little while longer before they find their voice as they especially like to call during dusk and dawn which is a bit early for our liking.