Comb-crested Jacanas

The Comb-crested Jacana (Irediparra gallinacea), also known as the Lotusbird or Lilytrotter, is the only species of jacana in the genus Irediparra. As with other jacana species, it is adapted to the floating vegetation of tropical freshwater wetlands.


Unmistakeable. Black crown and hindneck with fleshy red wattle covering forehead and forecrown. White face and throat. Broad black band on lower breast with white belly. Underwing black. Back and upperwing mainly grey-brown with black primary coverts, rump and tail. Long legs with extremely long toes.

Measurements: length (male) 20-21 cm, (female) 24-27 cm; wingspan 39-46 cm; weight (male) 85 g, (female) 140 g.


South-east Borneo, southern Philippines, Sulawesi, Moluccas, Lesser Sunda Islands, New Guinea, New Britain, northern and eastern Australia.


Freshwater wetlands with abundant floating vegetation, such as water-lilies or water hyacinth, forming a mat on water surface.


Seeds and aquatic insects gleaned from the floating vegetation or the water surface.


Squeaky, high-pitched chittering.


Females polyandrous (they form stable unions with more than one male). Flimsy nest built on floating or emergent vegetation, with clutch of four lustrous, pale brown eggs covered by black markings. Incubation by males only. Young precocial (= relatively mature and mobile from the moment of birth or hatching) and nidifugous (which means that they leave the nest shortly after birth).

Jacana Information and Listing of SpeciesJacana Photo Gallery
Comb-crested Jacana
Photo of author

Team Beauty of Birds's team of experts includes veterinarians, biologists, environmentalists and active bird watchers. All put together, we have over half a century of experience in the birding space.

You can meet our team here.