Bronze-winged Jacanas

The Bronze-winged Jacana,Metopidius indicus, is a jacana. It is the only member of the genus Metopidius. The jacanas are a group of waders in the family Charadriidae, which are identifiable by their huge feet and claws which enable them to walk on floating vegetation in the shallow lakes that are their preferred habitat. They are found worldwide within the tropical zone.

The Bronze-winged Jacana breeds in India and southeast Asia. It is sedentary apart from seasonal dispersion. It lays four black-marked brown eggs in a floating nest. The males, as in some other wader families like the phalaropes, take responsibility for incubation.

When forced they sometimes choose to hide by submerging themselves. The male may carry chicks between the wings and body.

Description

These are conspicuous and unmistakable birds. They are 28 to 29cm (~11″) long, but the females are larger than the males. They are mainly black, although the inner wings are very dark brown and the tail is red. There is a striking white eyestripe. The yellow bill extends up as a red coot-like head shield, and the legs and very long toes are grey.

Young birds have brown upperparts. Their underparts are white, with a buff foreneck.

Measurements (from Rasmussen and Anderton, 2005) Length 280-310 mm Wing 150-197 mm (males 150-180mm , females 167-187 mm) Bill from tip to top of frontal shield 34-46 mm (adults) 32-38 (juveniles) Tarsus 61-76 mm Tail 40-52 mm

Juvenile Bronze-winged Jacana

Bronze-winged Jacana,Metopidius indicus

Diet

The Bronze-winged Jacana’s feeds on insects and other invertebrates (= animals without internal skeleton, such as larvae, earthworms, millipedes, snails, spiders) picked from the floating vegetation or the water’s surface.

Call / Vocalization

Call is a wheezy piping seek-seek-seek given mostly in alarm.

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