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Northern Jacana

Common Name Northern Jacana

Scientific Name Jacana spinosa

Species Birds

Family/Group Waders



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Bill yellow, with base of maxilla contrastingly white and with three-lobed yellow frontal shield; long grayish legs and extremely long toes. Head, neck, and chest black; otherwise rich chestnut; pale greenish yellow flight feathers (very conspicuous in flight though usually hidden at rest). Immature very different with buffy white stripe above eye and dusky stripe behind eye; otherwise grayish brown above and whitish below, with greenish yellow flight feathers as in adult; bill brownish with rudimentary frontal shield yellowish green.

Habits and Behavior

Usually seen walking on floating vegetation, using their extremely long toes to advantage. Sometimes also feeds in adjacent grassy areas. Rather noisy, with various chatters and clacking calls.

Nicaragua Animal Guide