African Jacana

African jacana-small

Identification:

Length 25-30 cm, mass 115-274 g
Adult:
Chestnut upperparts with black wingtips, rear neck and eyestripe
White underparts
Chestnut belly patcha
Blue bill extends up as a coot-like head shield
Legs and very long toes are grey
Eyes are dark brown
Sexes alike but the females are larger than males

Habitat:

Lagoons, lakes, pans, river backwaters; usually with fringing vegetation and floating water lilies, Polygonum and other water plants.

Behaviour:

The Jacanas are a group of waders in the order Charadriiformes. Their huge feet and claws enable them to walk on floating vegetation in the shallow lakes that are their preferred habitat.

Diet:

Mostly aquatic insects, larvae, small fish, spiders, crustaceans and plants.

Breeding:

It is sedentary apart from seasonal dispersion. It lays four black-marked brown eggs in a floating nest. The males, as in some other wader families like the phalaropes, take responsibility for incubation.

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