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Pheasant-tailed jacana

Hydrophasianus chirurgus

Common name:
pheasant-tailed jacana (en); jacana-rabilonga (pt); jacana à longue queue (fr); jacana colilarga(es); fasanblatthühnchen (de)
Order Charadriiformes
Family Jacanidae
The pheasant-tailed jacana is found in southern and south-eastern Asia, including portions of Pakistan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, China, Java, and the Philippines.


These birds are 28-31 cm long, but the during the breeding season the long tails lengthen their total size to 45-50 cm. They weigh 120-150 g.

The pheasant-tailed jacana inhabits marshes, ponds, and lakes with patches of floating vegetation.

They pick insects and other invertebrates from the floating vegetation or the water’s surface.

Pheasant-tailed jacanas are polyandrous, with females having up to 4 mates at one time. They breed in March-September, with each male building a nest made of floating vegetation. The female lays 3-4 olive to dark-green eggs in each nest and each male is responsible for incubating and rearing the young. The male incubates the eggs for 24-26 days and the chicks are able to walk, swim and forage within hours of hatching. The male protects and broods the chicks for 6-7 weeks before they become fully independent.

IUCN status – LC (Least concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and a global population of 100.000 individuals. The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction and degradation, but the pheasant-tailed jacana is not considered threatened at present.
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