Northern Jacana

Jacana spinosa

Order

CHARADRIIFORMES

Family

Jacanas (Jacanidae)

Code 4

NOJA

Code 6

JACSPI

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Northern Jacana has a large range, estimated globally at 1,000,000 square kilometers. Native to Central America as well as the United States and Mexico and nearby island nations, this bird prefers inland wetland ecosystems such as bogs, marshes, fens, and swamps. The global population of this bird has not been precisely determined, but does not show signs of decline that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the Northern Jacana is Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Northern Jacana: Rail-like relative of plovers and shorebirds; is unique in having extremely long toes. Body is chestnut-brown with black head and neck, and flashy yellow-green flight feathers. Forehead has a fleshy orange-yellow frontal shield arising from base of bill. Weak mothlike flight.

 

Range and Habitat

Northern Jacana: Occurs in coastal regions from southern Texas to Mexico, throughout the Yucatan Peninsula, and are also found in Cuba, Jamaica, and Hispaniola. They prefer marshes, and ponds with heavy growth of lily pads and other floating plants, but may be found near flooded fields and near other slow-moving waters.

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Northern Jacana SONGS AND CALLS

Northern Jacana A1

Call is a series of loud, harsh "jik" notes and chatters.

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"jik"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • In Jamaica this bird is also known as the 'Jesus bird', as it appears to walk on water.
  • The Northern Jacana is very similar to the Wattled Jacana, with which it overlaps in Panama, and was formerly considered conspecific with that form.
  • They are quarrelsome and often engage in combat with one another, using sharp spurs on the bend of the wing.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Yury Lisyak

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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Flight feathersX
Located on the wing, and collectively called remiges (singular, remex). The long stiff feathers are subdivided into two major groups based on the location and are called primaries and secondaries.
Frontal shieldX
The area where the bill extends onto the forehead of the bird. It is often brightly colored and is meant to grab the attention of other birds.
UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

FaceX
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X