The jacana is a wading bird that is known by several names, such as ‘lily trotter’, ‘Jesus bird’, and ‘lotus bird’. They live in shallow lake areas, ponds and wetlands in tropical regions like rainforests. There are 8 known species of jacanas in the world. The females protect the territory around the nests and will destroy any eggs that aren’t hers and sometimes even eat the unborn chicks. Harsh!
First the Stats…
Scientific name: Jacanidae
Weight: Up to 5 ounces
Length: Up to 9.5 inches
Wingspan: Up to 18 inches
Now on to the Facts!
1.) Due to their light weight and large toe distribution, they appear to be able to walk on water, while actually walking on lily pads and aquatic vegetation.
2.) Their main predators are birds of prey, otters, large fish, turtles, crocodilians, and water snakes.
3.) They eat insects, molluscs, and other small animals (found in and around lake habitats), and aquatic seeds.
4.) Even though they spend most of their time above water, they are excellent swimmers, divers, and can stay under water for long periods of time, if need be.
5.) These birds are sexually dimorphic in that females are 2x as large as males.
But wait, there’s more on the jacana!
6.) Some jacanas have spurs on their wings that are used for fighting.
7.) Jacanas build their nests from various plant material, that sits on floating vegetation.
Did you know…?
When spread out, a jacana’s toes and claws can cover an area up to 5 x 8 inches! The real ‘big foot’.
8.) Females lay up to 4 glossy eggs that are camouflaged with a variety of markings.
9.) The male incubates the eggs and looks after the chicks.
10.) The chick’s feet are almost bigger than they are.
Now a Short Jacana Video!
Also, check out the Critter Science YouTube channel. Videos added frequently!
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