February, 14 2012:African Jacana (Actophilornis africanus)

In Kenya, two species exist. African and Lesser Jacana. African Jacana which is our today subject of discussion is a diurnal bird which is a very common species in all wetland habitats and is widely distributed across the country.This birds are well-known for their ability to walk on floating vegetation , hence their commonly referred  “Jesus bird”.This adaptation is made possible by their extremely long toes with long straight claws.

Photo @ Tony Crocetta

Adult bird has a striking chestnut body colour with a bright blue frontal shield which extend to the bill. The front neck is white that covers the ear coverts and runs all the way to the breast, while the hind-neck is black. The species exhibit no sexual dimorphism.

Perhaps the most interesting phenomenon about African Jacana is their Polyandrous lifestyle where the responsibilities of incubating and bringing up the chicks are singularly done by the male. Ladies have good time here!!!

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