Thai National Parks

Birds of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Pheasant-tailed jacana

Thai: นกอีแจว, nok e-jaew

Binomial name: Hydrophasianus chirurgus, Giovanni Antonio Scopoli, 1786

The pheasant-tailed jacana (Hydrophasianus chirurgus) is a jacana in the monotypic genus Hydrophasianus. Jacanas are a group of waders in the family Jacanidae that are identifiable by their huge feet and claws which enable them to walk on floating vegetation in shallow lakes, their preferred habitat. The pheasant-tailed jacana is capable of swimming, although it usually walks on the vegetation. The females are more colourful than the males and are polyandrous.

For the origin and pronunciation of the name, see Jacana.

Distribution

The pheasant-tailed jacana breeds in India, southeast Asia, and Indonesia. It is sedentary in much of its range, but northern breeders from south China and the Himalayas migrate into peninsular India and southeast Asia. It is also resident in Taiwan, where it is considered endangered. It has been recorded as a vagrant in Australia.

Description

This is the only jacana to have a different breeding plumage. The pheasant-tailed jacana is conspicuous and unmistakable. It is around 39 - 58 cm in length, about 25 cm of which is comprised by the pheasant-like tail. Body mass is reportedly 113 - 135 g in males and 205 - 260 g the larger females. The outermost primaries have a spatulate extension of 2 cm and the seventh primary has a broad protrusion.

Breeding adults are mainly black other than white wings, head, and fore neck. The hind neck is golden. There is a striking white eyestripe. The legs and very long toes are grey. Non-breeding adults lack the long tail. The underparts are white except for a brown breast band and neck stripe. The side of the neck is golden. Young birds have brown upperparts. The underparts are white, with a weak brown breast band.

Measurements (From Rasmussen and Anderton):

length 310 mm 390–580 mm (breeding)

Wing (with extension of primary) 190–244 mm (adults) 168–228 mm (juveniles)

Bill 23–30 mm

Tarsus 45–58 mm

Tail 194–376 mm (breeding) 110–117 mm (non breeding)

Breeding

These jacanas breed on floating vegetation from March to July. In southern India, it breeds in the monsoon season, June–September. They are polyandrous and a female may lay up to 10 clutches. Four black-marked brown eggs are laid in the floating nests.

Habits

The pheasant-tailed jacana's main sources of food are insects and other invertebrates picked from the floating vegetation or the water's surface.

Their call is a mewing me-onp and a nasal teeun.

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Videos of Pheasant-tailed jacana

  • Pheasant-tailed jacana

    Pheasant-tailed jacana

  • Pheasant-tailed jacana

    Pheasant-tailed jacana

  • Pheasant-tailed jacana

    Pheasant-tailed jacana

  • Pheasant-tailed jacana

    Pheasant-tailed jacana

Scientific classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Aves
Order
Charadriiformes
Family
Jacanidae
Genus
Hydrophasianus
Species
Hydrophasianus chirurgus

Common names

  • English: Pheasant-tailed acana
  • French: Jacana à longue queue
  • Thai: นกอีแจว, nok e-jaew

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Distribution map of Pheasant-tailed jacana, Hydrophasianus chirurgus in Thailand
  • Amphawa District, Samut Songkhram
  • Ban Laem District, Phetchaburi
  • Ban Phai District, Khon Kaen
  • Bang Ban District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
  • Bang Len District, Nakhon Pathom
  • Bang Pa In District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
  • Bang Pahan District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
  • Bang Pakong District, Chachoengsao
  • Bang Phra Non-hunting Area
  • Bang Pu Recreation Centre
  • Bangkok Province
  • Borabue District, Maha Sarakham
  • Bueng Boraped Non-hunting Area
  • Bueng Khong Long Non-hunting Area
  • Chatturat District, Chaiyaphum
  • Chiang Dao District, Chiang Mai
  • Chiang Saen District, Chiang Rai
  • Doi Inthanon National Park
  • Doi Lo District, Chiang Mai
  • Doi Pha Hom Pok National Park
  • Fang District, Chiang Mai
  • Hat Yai District, Songkhla
  • Huai Chorakhe Mak Reservoir Non-hunting Area
  • Huai Talat Reservoir Non-hunting Area
  • Kabin Buri District, Prachinburi
  • Kaeng Krachan National Park
  • Kamphaeng Saen District, Nakhon Pathom
  • Kanthararom District, Sisaket
  • Kantharawichai District, Maha Sarakham
  • Khao Ang Rue Nai Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park
  • Khao Yai National Park
  • Khao Yoi District, Phetchaburi
  • Khlong Luang District, Pathum Thani
  • Kumphawapi District, Udon Thani
  • Kut Thing Non-hunting Area
  • Laem Pak Bia
  • Mae Ai District, Chiang Mai
  • Mae Taeng District, Chiang Mai
  • Mae Tha, Lampang District, Lampang
  • Mueang Buriram District, Buriram
  • Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai
  • Mueang Kalasin District, Kalasin
  • Mueang Kanchanaburi District, Kanchanaburi
  • Mueang Khon Kaen District, Khon Kaen
  • Mueang Lopburi District, Lopburi
  • Mueang Maha Sarakham District, Maha Sarakham
  • Mueang Nakhon Sawan District, Nakhon Sawan
  • Mueang Nong Khai District, Nong Khai
  • Mueang Nonthaburi District, Nonthaburi
  • Mueang Phayao District, Phayao
  • Mueang Phetchaburi District, Phetchaburi
  • Mueang Phichit District, Phichit
  • Mueang Phitsanulok District, Phitsanulok
  • Mueang Ratchaburi District, Ratchaburi
  • Mueang Samut Sakhon District, Samut Sakhon
  • Mueang Samut Songkhram District, Samut Songkhram
  • Mueang Sisaket District, Sisaket
  • Mueang Sukhothai District, Sukhothai
  • Mueang Suphanburi District, Suphan Buri
  • Mueang Tak District, Tak
  • Mueang Uttaradit District, Uttaradit
  • Nong Bong Khai Non-hunting Area
  • Nong Plak Phra Ya – Khao Raya Bangsa Non-hunting
  • Nong Song Hong District, Khon Kaen
  • Nong Waeng Non-hunting Area
  • Nong Yai Area Development Project Under Royal Init
  • Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima
  • Pak Kret District, Nonthaburi
  • Pak Phli District, Nakhon Nayok
  • Pak Thale
  • Pak Tho District, Ratchaburi
  • Pak Thong Chai District, Nakhon Ratchasima
  • Pathum Thani Province
  • Phatthana Nikhom District, Lopburi
  • Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
  • Rattanawapi District, Nong Khai
  • Samut Prakan Province
  • San Sai District, Chiang Mai
  • Sanam Bin Reservoir Non-hunting Area
  • Sathing Phra District, Songkhla
  • Sikhoraphum District, Surin
  • Song Phi Nong District, Suphan Buri
  • Thale Noi Non-hunting Area
  • Thanyaburi District, Pathum Thani
  • Wang Noi District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
  • Wat Phai Lom & Wat Ampu Wararam Non-hunting Area
  • Wiang Chai District, Chiang Rai

Range map of Hydrophasianus chirurgus in Thailand

Important note; our range maps are based on limited data we have collected. The data is not necessarily accurate or complete.

Special thanks to Ton Smits, Parinya Pawangkhanant, Ian Dugdale and many others for their contribution for range data.

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