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African jacana

African jacana
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter Thomas (FunkyMunky) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 146 W: 0 N: 608] (3154)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-02-28
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 400D, Sigma 170-500mm APO
Exposure: f/10.0, 1/640 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2010-11-09 1:13
Viewed: 3692
Points: 18
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Photo taken at Lake Panic, my favourite bird hide in Kruger National Park

African Jacana {Actophilornis africana}

The African JacanaThe female African Jacana is slightly larger than the male although the color of the feathers are very much the same between males and females. Their dramatic markings include dark, chestnut brown feathers at their wings, and yellow-orange breast feathers. The front of the neck is white and the back of the neck and head is glossy black. The bill is bluish-gray, the eyes are dark brown, and the legs and toes are long in relation to the bird’s body size. Eggs are brown in color, glossy, with black scribble-like markings.

Name: Actophilornis africana
Diet Description: Insects, aquatic larvae, small crabs, snails, and seeds.
Habitat: African Jacana prefer lagoons, stagnant pools, weed-fringed dams, swamps, and calm rivers, where there are lily pads and other types of floating vegetation.

Distribution: They are found throughout Zimbabwe, Mozambique, northern Namibia, northern Botswana, and eastern South Africa.

Predators: Snakes, otters, water mongooses and other birds are predators of the African Jacana’s eggs. Since African Jacana’s eggs and young chicks are often preyed upon, the survival of this species is largely dependent on the mother’s ability to lay several clutches of eggs in one season.

Socialisation: African Jacanas are sociable birds, often gathering together near swamp-like habitats. Aggressive behavior among same-sexed birds begins at the end of winter and intensifies before the (November to March) mating season. African Jacanas are not known to be monogomous in their mating patterns. A mating pair can have up to 30 clutches of eggs each season, resulting from either the same partner or various partners. The female African Jacana is more dominant than her male counterpart. Females are twice as large as males and can be very picky about who they choose as a mate. The female African Jacanas does not generally choose the same male partner for every clutch of eggs that she lays. This species of birds are known as ‘lily walkers’ because their slender legs and toes give them the gracefulness to walk on the lily pads that blanket their wetlands. Due to their smaller size, males are more graceful ‘lily walkers’ than females.

Reproduction: The female African Jacana lays several clutches of eggs between December and April, The clutches may be from a variety of mates or only one mate, depending on the circumstances. The male African Jacana is the main caretaker of the offspring, incubating the eggs and carrying the baby chicks under his wings to keep them warm and dry until the chicks are approximately 18 days old.

Did you know?

These graceful birds are good divers and strong flyers. They squawk during flight and carry a pitch that resembles a loud, mournful, whining sound. Like most birds, the African Jacana has a keen sense of sight and hearing and relies little on its sense of smell.

fransswanepoel, joska, Pitoncle, boreocypriensis, anel, dmark11, Miss_Piggy has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Well done Peter. Good detail and all the special features such as those long toes are sharp and clear for all of us to enjoy.
I am still in need of a good one for my gallery.

  • Great 
  • joska Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 806 W: 0 N: 4092] (22535)
  • [2010-11-09 2:04]

Hi Peter,
Very good photo of this interesting Bird, African Jacana , I never see this species, TFS!

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2010-11-09 7:23]

Hello Peter,
Great close photo of this African Jacana taken from a very nice frontal POV. I've photographed it lately in Senegal, but from a greater distance. Excellent sharpness, details and natural colours. The amazing feet are striking. Very good DOF.

Bonjour Peter,
Agréable valorisation du sujet dans son environnement.
A bientôt sur TN pour de nouvelles aventures.

Hi Peter, what a beauty? I like that you chose a low POV and dynamic BG for this shot, we get a good look at the beauty's head and amazing legs. Great shot MF!


Hi Peter,
Very nice photo and focus. What a very unusual bird. I have never seen such large feet on a bird. Isn't nature interesting. Great job!

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2010-11-10 4:13]

Hello Peter,
These birds are so special, I had the opportunity to observe them in Zurich Zoo. I spent about two hours to observe them walking on the water-plants. Very well chosen frontal point of view and a very natural presentation.
Kind regards

  • Great 
  • zetu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 26 N: 3888] (16941)
  • [2010-11-10 11:46]

Hello Peter
Very interesting bird...with long fingers.
Thanks for sharing

Hallo Peter
I must admit I am quite jealous on this one. All my shots of the African Jacana is either of its bum in the air or its beak somewhere in the water looking for something to eat. This looks like a juvenile as the blueish colour in the face is not visible as yet. It is an excellent photograph with all details beautifully portrayed. Your photography is great and really a pleasure to stop by. Just a pity I cannot do it so often as I would have liked to. Thanks for sharing. Best regards.

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