Comb-crested Jacana

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Common Name: Comb-crested Jacana
Scientific Name: Irediparra gallinacea

Size: 7 ¾ - 9 inches (20-23 cm)

Habitat: Australiasia; distributed in coastal and sub-coastal regions from the Kimberleys, Western Australia, through northern Australia to about Grafton, New South Wales. They are more common in the north of their range. The species also occurs in New Guinea, Indonesia and the Philippines. Found in tropical and subtropical freshwater wetlands, including lagoons, billabongs, swamps, lakes, rivers, sewage ponds and dams, providing there is adequate floating vegetation.

Status: Least Concern. Global population: 25,000 to 1,000,0000. The species is locally threatened by wetland degradation and loss through flooding, drainage and overgrazing.

Diet: Aquatic insects, which it seizes from floating vegetation or the surface of the water. It also feeds on seeds and aquatic plants. Birds rarely come to shore. When searching for food, the Comb-crested Jacana bobs its head and flicks its tailed continuously.

Nesting: Both sexes are similar in appearance, but the female is larger than the male, and slightly brighter in color. In flight, the long legs and toes trail behind the body. Young Jacanas resemble the adult birds, but are rufous to black on the head and nape, and have a rufous-black breast band. The red fleshy comb is much smaller and darker.

The female Comb-crested Jacana may mate with several males, while the male alone builds the nest, incubates the eggs and cares for the young. If danger threatens the young birds, the male has the curious habit of picking the chicks up under his wings and carrying them off to safety.

Cool Facts: In Australia, the Comb-crested Jacana, also known as the “Lotusbird”. Comb-crested Jacanas will move to new locations, particularly in response to changes in their current habitat, such as droughts or excessive flooding.

Found in Songbird ReMix Jacanas and Songbird ReMix Australia Volume III

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