“We are all familiar with adult White-breasted Waterhens (Amaurornis phoenicurus phoenicurus) and the small black chicks they have. I saw this bird, adult sized but with plumage that appeared to be moulting (above left). I have not seen White-breasted Waterhens moult in all my years of watching.
“I considered whether this was a ‘skin’ disease where it had lost feathers and there were re-growth, but the beak looks immature (posting an adult for comparison in – above right). So I suspect this is an immature moulting into an adult.
“…for comparison, the plumage of a younger immature bird taken in October 2008 (left).
“Supports the idea that the bird is moulting into its slaty grey upperparts.
Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Limestone Hills Outskirts of Ipoh City, Malaysia
10th October 2010