Blessed with long, slender legs and interestingly long toes that make their walking look classy, the African Jacana is quite incredible to look at.
While they have not yet mastered the art of walking on water, these ‘Lilly-trotters’ walk on floating plankton, grass and water lilies. As the weight of the bird is supported pushes the vegetation under the surface of the water, they look like they are walking on water.
The African Jacanas are not just stylised walkers but are also good swimmers and divers that feast on aquatic insects, larvae, worms and snails.
One of the most fascinating things that Jacanas do is how they build their nests. Though the nest looks flimsy, usually set up on loose floating islands of marshy plants over deep water. The loose eggs are well incubated and cared for by either of the parents. Most of the time, the male Jacana tends to take over all the nesting, parenting duties.
During emergencies, like flooding or predator attacks, the chicks can dive deep under the water and swim. In extreme emergencies, the dad Jacana picks up the chicks underneath its winds and scoot.
Can we get a shout-out to all single parents out there?
Can we also take a moment to see the fight the baby Jacana chick puts up from the time it is born? From being born in a floating nest, hiding from predators in the aquatic world, like snakes, to coming out as a winner is no mean task.
Did you know that the African Jacana eggs are pale brown with conspicuous black markings, making them almost invisible? They are also glossy and waterproof!
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