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The African jacana

28 January 2015

The African jacana Actophilornis africanus was originally described scientifically as Parra africana by Gmelin in 1789 based on a specimen from Ethiopia. An adult African jacana is some 23 to 32 cm tall, but the male only weighs around 140 g and the female 230 g although the sexes are alike in plumage colouration. The adults have a black crown and back of the neck while the sides of the face, chin and throat are white. The chest is golden yellow and the mantle, back, rump, tail, wings and belly are rich chestnut in colour but the primary feathers are black. The bill and the fleshy frontal shield are vividly blue, the eyes are brown and the legs and feet are grey. Juveniles can be confused with the lesser jacana Microparra capensis but are larger than it.

As the name indicates the African jacana mainly... (Become a subscriber for more)

 

Reference:

Hockey, P A R, W R J Dean and P G Ryan (eds) 2005. Roberts – birds of southern Africa, seventh edition. Cape Town: The John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, pp 382 - 383.

 

article by Prof J du P Bothma

 

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