Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Zeiss - Always on the lookout for something special – Shop now

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Personal tools
Main Categories

African Jacana

From Opus

Photo © by CollinBaxLowersabie, Kruger National Park, South Africa,  August 2008
Photo © by CollinBax
Lowersabie, Kruger National Park, South Africa, August 2008
Actophilornis africanus

Actophilornis africana


[edit] Identification

23–31 cm (9-12ΒΌ in), mass 115-274 g

  • Chestnut upperparts with black wingtips, rear neck and eyestripe
  • White underparts
  • Chestnut belly patch
  • Blue bill extends up as a coot-like head shield
  • Legs and very long toes are grey
  • Eyes are dark brown

Sexes alike but the females are larger than males

[edit] Similar Species

Juvenile Photo © by JohnathanAKRKruger National Park, South Africa, August 2007
Photo © by JohnathanAKR
Kruger National Park, South Africa, August 2007

Immature: is similar to adult Lesser Jacana, but much bigger; above light brown (dark brown in adult Lesser Jacana), below white; breast washed golden (no gold in adult Lesser Jacana); flanks brown; frontal shield small (not visible in field); crown and hind neck blackish brown (crown rufous in adult Lesser Jacana); black line through eye; buff eyebrow (eyebrow of adult Lesser Jacana white, forehead buff).

[edit] Distribution

Widespread thoughout sub-Saharan Africa
Western Africa: Mauritania, Senegambia, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo and Angola
Eastern Africa: Sudan, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Zambia, Mozambique and Malawi
Southern Africa: Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal, Lesotho and Swaziland
African Islands: Saint Helena and Madagascar

[edit] Taxonomy

Photo © by volker sthamerMbamba Swamps, Uganda, July 2018
Photo © by volker sthamer
Mbamba Swamps, Uganda, July 2018

This is a monotypic species[1].

[edit] Habitat

Lagoons, lakes, pans, river backwaters; usually with fringing vegetation and floating water lilies, Polygonum and other water plants.

[edit] Behaviour

The Jacanas are a group of waders in the order Charadriiformes. Their huge feet and claws enable them to walk on floating vegetation in the shallow lakes that are their preferred habitat.

[edit] Diet

Their diet consists mostly of insects and worms, with other arthropods such as spiders and crustaceans.

[edit] Breeding

It lays four black-marked brown eggs in a floating nest. A polyandrous species. The males, as in some other wader families like the phalaropes, take responsibility for incubation.

[edit] Movements

It is sedentary apart from seasonal dispersion.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from
  2. Avibase
  3. Animal Pictures Archive

[edit] External Links


Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.30125189 seconds with 6 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 18:16.