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Northern Jacana

Liz Bonnin presents the northern jacana, at home in Central American wetlands.

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

Liz Bonnin presents the northern jacana at home in Central American wetlands. A cross between a coot and a plover, northern Jacanas are found in swamps in Central America and Mexico. They're long legged birds with a black head and neck, and a chestnut body with yellow highlights. And, northern jacanas are polyandrous; the females have more than one partner. Males build platforms of floating vegetation and attract females by calling or posturing. If a female mates with a male, he may use his platform as a nest for her eggs. The female doesn't care for the eggs, but goes in search of up to three other mates. The result is that a single female may have several males raising different clutches of eggs for her and each clutch may contain the eggs of more than one male!

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2 minutes

Northern Jacana (Jacana spinosa)

Webpage image courtesy of Claudio Contreras /

NPL Ref 01258258 © Claudio Contreras /

Recording of Northern Jacana by Gerrit Vyn / Ref: ML140224

This programme contains a wildtrack recording of the northern jacana kindly provided by The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology; recorded by Gerrit Vyn on 2 Oct 2006, in Veracruz, Mexico.


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