Pheasant-tailed Jacana

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Common Name: Pheasant-tailed Jacana
Scientific Name: Hydrophasianus chirurgus

Size: 11 ½ - 12 ½ inches (29-31.5 cm)

Habitat: Asia; breeds in India, Southeast Asia, and Indonesia. It is sedentary in much of its range, but northern breeders from south China and the Himalayas migrate into peninsular India and Southeast Asia. It is also resident in Taiwan, where it is considered endangered.

Status: Least Concern. Global population: 100,000. Endangered in Taiwan (1997). The Guantian Jacana Reserve in Tainan County was designated to protect the species in 2000 however receives scant funding. Several government projects and Typhoon Morakot (2009) have dealt severe blows to Taiwan population.

Diet: Insects, other invertebrates and seeds picked from the floating vegetation or the water’s surface.

Nesting: During the breeding season, the long tail adds another 3 - 9 ¾ inches (8-25 cm). Breeding adults are mainly black other than white wings, head, and fore neck. The hind neck is golden. Non-breeding adults lack the long tail. The under parts are white except for a brown breast band and neck stripe. The side of the neck is golden. Females tend to be larger and more colorful than males. Young birds have brown upperparts. The under parts are white, with a weak brown breast band.

These jacanas breed on floating vegetation from March to July. In southern India, it breeds in the monsoon season, June-September. They are polyandrous and a female may lay up to 10 clutches. Four black-marked brown eggs are laid in the floating nests.

Cool Facts: This is the only jacana to have a different breeding plumage and is easily identified by the striking white plumage from head to breast and by the long sickle shaped tail during the breeding season.

The Pheasant-tailed Jacana is capable of swimming, although it usually walks on the vegetation.

Found in Songbird ReMix Jacanas

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