Close Window

Wattled Jacana
Jacana jacana

Also known as the lily trotter, the long legged jacana (zhah suh NAH) can indeed walk accross lily pads and other surfac vegetation in floating meadows without getting its feet wet. Those feet, with long, splayed toes and long nails, distribute the bird's weight so it can even spring over the surface of the water.

Jacanas are also good swimmers and divers, but only so-so fliers. The temporary meadows in high-water season offer a floating feast for these birds, harboring insects, snails, small fishes, and vegetation for the picking. The rest of the year, jacanas wade along rivers, oxbow lakes and irrigation ditches looking for food.

Amazon Rising: Seasons of the River. Shedd Aquarium

Close Window