Brazilian name: Jaçanã
This is the only Jacana in South America and is found in wetlands with floating vegetation from Panama to northern Argentina.
It has a bright red shield on its forehead and red wattles or rictal lappets down the side of its yellow bill. It also has extremely long toes which allows it to walk on the floating vegetation of its habitat. Occasionally the yellow spurs on the wing are visible as in photo 6.
|It feeds on insects and other
invertebrates that it finds on this vegetation.
While one of the more common wetland birds, it is also one of the most interesting particularly with respect to its breeding which is polyandrous. This means that one female will mate with several males each with his own territory. It is the male who incubates the eggs and looks after the chicks.
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.
Juveniles start off being dark brown above with white or buffy underparts and supercilium as seen in photos 3 and 7. The birds in the 4th and 5th photos are gradually acquiring adult plumage but any white indicates a young bird.
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