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African Jacana

Miranda Krestovnikoff presents the wetland-loving African jacana.

Tweet of the Day is the voice of birds and our relationship with them, from around the world.

Miranda Krestovnikoff presents the wetland loving African Jacana. Being rich chestnut coloured above, with black heads, white throats, each has a patch of blue skin above the bill, known as a shield, Jacanas are waders with very long slender toes which allow them to walk on floating plants giving them the name lily-trotters. Widespread in wet places south of the Sahara desert they may become nomadic moving between wetlands as seasonal water levels change. They have an unusual mating system. Females mate with several males, but leave their partners to build the nest, incubate the eggs and bring up the chicks. With up to 3 or 4 mates rearing her different broods, her strategy is to produce the maximum number of young lily-trotters each year.

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2 minutes

African Jacana (Actophilornis africanus)

Webpage image courtesy of Lou Coetzer /

NPL Ref 01463976 © Lou Coetzer /

Recording of African Jacana by Linda R. Macaulay / Ref: ML 135964

This programme contains a wildtrack recording of the African Jacana kindly provided by The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology; recorded by Linda R Macaulay, 5th October 2002, Mukumi National Park, Tanzaniaa.


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