Physical characteristics: The pheasant-tailed jacana is the largest species in the group, measuring from 11 to 12.2 inches (28 o 31 centimeters) in length and weighing in at 4.8 to 8 ounces (126 to 231 grams). It has dark feathers with a yellow band around the neck and white wingtips. Males have long, brightly colored tail feathers during the breeding season.
Geographic range: The pheasant-tailed jacana is found in Asia, including portions of Pakistan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, China, Java, and the Philippines.
Habitat: The pheasant-tailed jacana inhabits marshes, ponds, and lakes with patches of floating vegetation.
Diet: The pheasant-tailed jacana eats primarily insects and other invertebrates, animals without a backbone.
Behavior and reproduction: Pheasant-tailed jacanas walk across floating vegetation with their large feet, only rarely taking to the air. They are polyandrous, with females having up to four mates at one time. Four eggs are laid by the female in each nest and hatch after twenty-two to twenty-eight days. Males are responsible for sitting on eggs and caring for chicks after they hatch. Fewer than half of all chicks survive to adulthood.
Pheasant-tailed jacanas and people: No significant interactions between pheasant-tailed jacanas and people are known.
Conservation status: This species is not considered threatened, although some populations in China and Taiwan have declined dramatically due to loss of wetland habitats. ■
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