How many waterhen chicks can you see in this photo?
6 October 2021 | Animal Stories
White-breasted Waterhen (Amaurornis phoenicurus) chicks resemble little black balls – they are masters of disguise - important when there are many predators such as snakes and raptors that see you as a nice snack. The chicks arrived at our Wild Animal Rescue Centre in late June 2021 and moved to this large enclosure after 2 weeks of care. In this large enclosure that simulates wild conditions, they were able to exercise to strengthen muscles and catch live insects and fish by trial and error to prepare for survival in the wild.
Excluding the waterhen chick in the top-left frame insert, how many waterhen chicks can you see in the photo above?
The answer is FOUR.
The White-breasted Waterhen (Amaurornis phoenicurus) chicks arrived at our Wild Animal Rescue Centre in late June 2021 and were from 2 unrelated families. They had an amazing appetite and grew well in the rescue centre ward. They were moved to this large enclosure during the third week after their arrival to provide more space and allow natural habits to develop.
On 17 August 2021, all four were released back to the wild following seven weeks of care by our professional rescue team. You can see in the video how they quickly run toward their favourite freshwater habitat soon after release.
White-breasted Waterhen chicks are precocial chicks. This means they are already well-feathered when they hatch, with substantial powers of thermoregulation and locomotion and a considerable degree of independence from their parents for feeding. Sometimes you might see them wandering around. Don’t worry – their parents are usually nearby. Providing the bird is not in immediate danger (e.g. from a car collision or cat), it is always best to leave the birds alone. If you have any questions regarding injured or orphaned wildlife, you can call us at 2483 7200, SPCA at 2711 1000 or AFCD at 1823.
Please follow this baby bird flowchart to decide what type of action to take when you spot a baby bird on the ground.