Wattled Jacana

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Image:Jacana-w.jpg

Common Name: Wattled Jacana
Scientific Name: Jacana jacana

Size: 6 ¾ - 9 inches (17-23 cm)

Habitat: Central and South America; from western Panama and Trinidad south through most of South America east of the Andes.

Status: Least Concern. Global population: unknown. Drainage of wetlands is an ongoing threat, also harvesting of mangrove swamps for lumber. Water pollution from pesticide use is ongoing.

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

Nesting: Females are larger than males. Young birds initially have entirely white under parts, and can always be identified by the presence of white in their plumage. Females lay four black-marked brown eggs in a floating nest. The male takes responsibility for incubation, with two eggs held between each wing and the breast. The females are polyandrous, and will help to defend the nests of up to four mates. If the female disappears and is replaced by another, the chicks are in danger of being killed by the new female so that her own eggs will have a better chance of survival.

Cool Facts: There are six races of Wattled Jacana; with the nominate Jacana ssp. jacana race jacana being the most widespread. Several of the other subspecies are similar, but J. j. hypomelaena of western Panama and northern Colombia has all the chestnut plumage replaced by black, and J. j. scapularis of western Ecuador has some black feathers on its chestnut shoulders, and white outer primary feathers.

Jacana is one Linnæus' pseudo-Latin misspelling for the Brazilian Portuguese Jaçanã (from a Tupi name of the same bird) whose pronunciation is approximately [ža.sa.náN].


Found in Songbird ReMix Jacanas

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