Bird Families

African Jacana (lat


One of the most common birds in South America - yellow-fronted Jacana (Jacana spinosa). Its distinctive features are as follows: a light, beautiful body, a thin, slender beak with a naked callus on the forehead and bare blades at the corners of the mouth, high, thin, long-toed legs, the claws of which are almost the same length with the toes, narrow sharp-pointed wings, between the flight feathers of which there is a third the longest, at the fold, the wing is equipped with a strong, concave spine, and, finally, a rounded tail, consisting of ten soft, delicate, slightly pointed feathers. The old bird on the head, neck, chest and abdomen has a black color, on the back, wings and on the sides of the abdomen - red-brown, the flight feathers to the very black end of it are yellowish-green, the tail feathers are dark reddish-brown. The eyes are pale yellow, the beak is red, yellowish at the end, the naked callus on the forehead, as well as the blades at the corners of the mouth, are blood-red, the legs are lead-gray, the thorn on the wing is yellow. Young Jacana from chin to tail has a yellow-white color, on the top of the head and back of the head - black, on the back - olive-brown. The length of her body is 25 cm, the length of the wing is 14, the length of the tail is 5 cm, the height of the metatarsus is 55.

Yellow-fronted Jacana (Jacana spinosa)
From Guiana to Paraguay, the yakana is found in all stagnant waters, covered in places with wide leaves of aquatic plants. Thanks to her beautiful appearance, everyone loves and spares her, she settles in the immediate vicinity of housing, enlivening the canals on the plantations, according to Prince von Weed, the Jacana is mainly found in swampy places, in damp swampy meadows, in water basins near the seashore , as well as inside the mainland or among primeval forests. She walks on wide leaves spreading over the water surface, on which she holds very easily, thanks to her long toes. Although the yakana flies off when he sees a boat quickly approaching her, he soon sits down again in its original place. She is a supremely attractive sight as she rushes with the quickness of thought over the tightly woven leaves of water lilies, doing her business at the same time. Sitting down, she lifts her beautiful wings high and flaunts brightly shiny flight feathers, as if flaunting all her beauty with intent. The jacans, moving on a bright sunny day along the wide green leaves of aquatic plants, surpass the magnificent color of these latter in beauty. When lowering or just before takeoff, a usually loud, laughter-like voice is heard, which serves as a warning to other birds, the bird emits it even when, taken by surprise, it is forced to seek salvation in flight. "As soon as one or the other of them," says Schomburgk, "notices something suspicious, it immediately stretches its neck and emits a loud sound, then the whole society echoes it and one after another rushes to flight."
Yakana feeds on aquatic arthropods and their larvae, but also does not neglect seeds and, apparently, is constantly busy looking for food.
Her nest is an artless structure, which she builds in swamps and along the edges of ditches, but often lays 4-6 pale greenish or bluish eggs covered with light brown specks * directly on bare ground. The chicks follow their mother shortly after birth.

Life of animals. - M .: State publishing house of geographical literature. A. Brem. 1958.

  • A family of guinea pigs
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The female is larger than the male. The length of this bird does not exceed 30 cm, the size of the wings of the male reaches 16, and of the female up to 18 cm. The body weight of the female is 290 grams, and the weight of the male reaches 224 grams.

Hide Announcement: Appearance Habitat Habitat Nutrition Reproduction Life expectancy Red Book Interesting facts

The color of the body and wings is chestnut, the front part of the chest is yellowish, the tail feathers are dark in color. The front part is light, upward of the head is black. The beak is straight with a curved tip, bluish in color, a black stripe runs from it to the crown.

On the limbs there are four long dark gray toes, one of which is located at the back. On the fingers there are sharp curved claws that help to turn the water leaves, also thanks to the long fingers, she can quickly move through the vegetation growing on the surface of the reservoir.

Yakana yellow-fronted

A characteristic feature of the yakan is the unusually long fingers and claws, which allow these birds to easily walk on the leaves of aquatic plants. Habitat. Lives in Central and South America.

Habitat. The range of the yellow-fronted Jacans covers the entire southern part of Central America and vast territories of South America from Panama to Argentina. The habitat of this species is quiet river floodplains and swamps. Most willingly, the yakana settles in shallow areas of undying fresh water bodies, covered with a carpet of aquatic vegetation with floating leaves. Jacans often visit rice fields and roam the water surface of irrigation canals, where water hyacinths grow in abundance. Other yakan species inhabit similar biotopes in Africa, Asia, Australia, and the islands of the Malay and Sunda archipelagoes.

View: Jacana yellow-fronted - Jacana jacana. Family: Yakanovye. Order: Charadriiformes. Class: Birds. Subtype: Vertebrates.

Reproduction. During the nesting period, Jacans occupy and defend their home areas. The possessions of males are small and noticeably inferior in size to those of females. Birds of both sexes often start noisy fights, desperately beating each other with their wings, which is not at all as harmless as it seems - a horny claw grows on each wing, the blow of which is very painful. The breeding season of the yakan is timed to coincide with the rainy season, with most eggs being laid towards the end of the season, when flood levels are highest and more or less constant. Jacans do not build any nests: having chosen a suitable leaf of an aquatic plant, the male only lays a few twigs on it so that the eggs do not slide into the water.

After mating, the female lays 3-4 eggs (one per day). The dark shiny shell of the eggs is covered with an unusual intricate pattern. Only the male incubates the clutch, and the female leaves in search of new partners. After 26 days, chicks hatch from the eggs, which leave the nest in a few hours. Their upper body is covered with light brown down, and the abdomen, shirt-front and front of the neck are white. Dad takes all the care of the offspring: he alone gets food for the kids and protects them from predators. Chicks acquire full independence 70 days after birth.

Lifestyle. Yellow-fronted Jacans are public birds. Outside the nesting season, they live in small flocks, spending all day in search of food. Slowly pacing on widely spaced fingers over the leaves of water lilies, water hyacinths and other plants, the birds peck at small invertebrates on the move. The diet of the yakan includes insects and their larvae, small crustaceans, annelids, snails and small fish. Vegetable foods, especially seeds and rice grains, serve as a pleasant addition to the “meat” menu. The absence of membranes between the toes does not in the least prevent the yakana from swimming well and from swimming from one green island to another. At the slightest alarm, the bird quickly swims away or dives and hides under water among the plants. At the same time, it grasps the algae with its paws and exposes only the tip of its beak to the surface in order to breathe. Having dived, the yakana can remain under water for several minutes, but it does this only as a last resort, when it is injured or is unable to swim away or hide under the leaves.Jacans fly, stretching back their legs, sometimes in the middle of the night they fly from coast to coast, filling the air with loud cries.

Did you know?

  • If the chicks or eggs are in danger, the male can transfer them to a more secure place, hiding under the wings tightly pressed to the body.
  • The fingers of the yellow-fronted Jacana reach a length of 11 cm, which is about half the length of her body.
  • Most yakans are dominated by black and reddish-brown tones. The only exception to this rule is the chocolate brown water pheasant (Hydrophasianus chirurgus), which changes outfits twice a year. It differs from other yakans in its long tail, similar to that of a pheasant.
  • The female Jacana is 20% larger than the male. During the nesting season, one female can mate with one or more males and often leaves 3-4 eggs in the care of five partners.
  • Jacans love to sit comfortably on the backs of hippos or capybaras and, wandering through the water on these living rafts, catch insects.
  • Sometimes the female chooses as her partner a male who is already engaged in nursing chicks. If the chosen one does not pay her due attention, she calmly kills his brood, thus obtaining a free partner and a caring guardian for her offspring.

Jacana yellow-fronted - Jacana jacana. Length: 17-25 cm. Weight: 90-125 g. Number of eggs in a clutch: 3-4. Incubation period: 26 days. Food: plant seeds, invertebrates, small fish.

Structure. Neck. The neck is rather long and mobile. Plaque. There is a narrow horny red plaque on the head above the beak. Body. The small body has a tight build. Tail. The short tail consists of 10 dark tail feathers. Beak. The straight strong beak is colored bright yellow. Plumage. The neck and chest are black, the rest of the body is reddish-brown. Legs. The slender gray legs are very long and devoid of plumage. Wings. The wings are short, rounded. Fingers. Three unusually long fingers are facing forward, one is facing back. They all end in long, straight claws.

Related species. The Jacan family unites eight species of birds that inhabit regions with warm or tropical climates. All yakans are small birds adapted to life on and near water. Nature has endowed them with very long legs with enormous toes. The color of the yakan is dominated by black and dark brown tones. Four species have brightly colored horny plaques on the head.


This species of birds leads a sedentary lifestyle, they always try to live in the place where they were born. As mentioned earlier, this bird lives on aquatic vegetation: lakes, rivers, ponds, which are located in the interior of Africa. Running along the plant carpet, the bird catches insects and collects their larvae.

Sometimes it happens that she herself becomes an object for attack by predators, in this case the bird can hide from pursuit by diving under the water.

It can also live in wetlands near bays, slow flowing rivers and in flooded areas. They can feel good on the sandy shores of huge lakes, such as:

  • Nyasa,
  • Chad,
  • Victoria,

They always live in large numbers, prefers lowlands, but sometimes they can, found above 2000 meters above sea level.


The diet of this unusual bird is very diverse, let's take a closer look at its daily diet, and so the menu includes:

  • Insects,
  • Larvae,
  • Invertebrates,
  • Paper wasps,
  • Flies,
  • Bees,
  • Spiders,
  • Dragonfly larvae,
  • Molluscs,
  • Seeds,
  • Plant leaves,

Usually they try to find food in shallow water in the immediate vicinity of their home, but some brave females can move more than 100 meters away. African Jacans go out to feed in groups, flocks, families; they stand on an area where they search for food more than 50 m2.

Very scrupulously examines each leaf in the hope of finding a favorite delicacy on it, if there is nothing on the leaf, the bird turns it over with its beak to look at it from the back side.

They are very cunning hunters, they can even dive under the water and catch insect larvae there or grab them at lightning speed during the flight.

They are constantly in the neighborhood with common hippos, its body is completely immersed in water, with the exception of the back, on which they like to sit and wait for the animal to move.

In this regard, alarmed small insects take off and jump in different directions, and the yakana catches them with quick movements of its beak.

Interesting Facts

Some interesting details about the wayward bird are worth exploring:

  • The number of lobsters in a certain territory always depends on the prevalence of food on the ground. Couples give birth to offspring only if they are confident in the real possibilities of feeding him. There should be a sufficient number of rodents and other prey on the ground. During the fasting period, they do not hatch chicks at all, and some leave fewer eggs.
  • Buzzards, like all common birds, love to sit on high-voltage wires. Therefore, many birds die from electric shock. To save the birds, they have now begun to build safe supports.
  • In Scotland, the buzzard is often mistaken for a tourist eagle. Inexperienced amateurs confuse them with rare golden eagles, since the colors and appearance of the individuals are very similar.
  • The buzzards have their own territory not only on land, but also in the air (up to three hundred meters from the ground). If someone else tries to attack this area, they begin to attack him and try to drive him out of his place.
  • In one day, a bird eats up to 35 rodents, and in a year this figure can reach up to 12,500. Thus, they benefit the world around them, as they rid the earth of harmful animals.
  • In the Moscow region, this species of feathered predators has long been under protection and is listed in the Red Book of Moscow.

Thus, the buteo is a powerful and proud bird of prey. The birds are characterized by great ingenuity, cunning and courage. They are responsible for reproducing offspring. But every year the population of these birds is decreasing. This is due not only to the lack of respectful attitude of man to nature, but also to significant climatic changes.

Tags: buzzard, common buzzard, migratory birds, buzzard, bird of prey

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During the breeding season, the male begins active construction of the nest, it is located right on the leaves of the grass of the reservoir. The following materials are used as a building material for the construction of the nest:

  1. Coastal mud
  2. Dry twigs or stems
  3. Young shoots

During diligent construction, they call on the female with quiet cries for mating. During nesting, the female can simultaneously meet with 4 males.

Running a little ahead, let's clarify that the eggs are incubated by the male... To each of the males, the female will lay four eggs of shiny or light brown colors with red veins, sometimes clutching can be twice a season.

This relationship between males and females is scientifically called "Polyandry". She can occasionally visit every nest where she laid her eggs, however, as we have already said, only the male incubates the offspring.

The father warms the eggs for three hours for 26 days, after which he goes in search of food. After he has a hearty meal, he returns to the clutch, bends his paws, fluffs his feathers and carefully sits down in the nest.

It happens that during his absence, the eggs overheat from the sun's rays, when he returns, he blocks the rays of the sun with his body, allowing them to cool down a little.

Chicks hatch with good anatomical characteristics; it will take a little time for them to leave the nest in standing. After 6 months, they get up on the wings. Sexual maturation in birds of this species occurs after 1.4 years.

Family: Jacanidae = Jacans

JACANA AMERICAN (Jacana spinosa)has a generally rufous plumage with a darker head and neck and lighter flight feathers. A narrow plaque on the head of the American Jacana is reddish in color. The American Jacana is widespread in the tropical part of the New World from Mexico to Argentina and in the Antilles.

North American [yellow-fronted] Jacana - Jacana spinosa- distributed in Central America and the West Indies, where it occurs in swamps, marshy lowlands and lakes with dense vegetation, feeds on insects and small fish.

The North American Jacana has a black head, neck and chest, the rest of the body is dark brown. The area above the beak, the forehead to the very crown is painted in bright yellow, the beak is also yellow, on top there is a small light blue area of ​​the skin. The legs and toes are long, which allows the birds to roam freely in the swamps. Young birds are colored brown, the bottom is white.

Females have from one to four partners, in whose nests they lay eggs. Males incubate eggs, and then hatch chicks, females help to protect the nesting territory.

Jacana South American - Jacana jacana- a yakana of medium size, 21-25 cm long, weight of a male 90-120 g, female 140-150 g. The general color is brilliant black, the back, tail, wing-coverts are chestnut, greenish-yellow flight wings literally "flash" during takeoff. The beak of the South American Jacana is yellow with a red base, a frontal plaque and fleshy catkins in the corners of the mouth (in the northern species, the base of the beak is blue, the plaque is yellow, there are no earrings). The young bird is brownish with a light underside, a gray beak without a plaque and earrings, olive legs. The South American Jacana lives in the fresh waters of tropical America from Panama to northern Argentina. The image of life is typical for the group, polyandry is developed. In the female, approximately five days pass between clutches in the nests of different males. The South American Jacana is a background species.