Northern Jacana

The northern jacana is one of two species found in the Americas, from the United States to Panama.
Northern Jacana Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Jacana Spinosa
Northern Jacana Physical Characteristics
Yellow, Black, Dark Brown
500,000 to 5 million
6.5 years on average
3 to 5 ounces
Northern Jacana Distribition

” Their massive feet and claws permit them to stroll on drifting plant life.”


The northern jacana (Jacana Spinosa) is a tool- sized wader from The United States and Canada, mainly in the tropics in Central America. It lives in marshes and swamps near seaside locations, where it invests its days strolling throughout drifting plant life and selecting insects off marine plants. This species is fairly social and resides in little swarms, where the papas elevate their young, and the females spread their egg clutches around. Discover every little thing there is to find out about this North American jacana, including its environment, diet, and reproduction.

5 Remarkable Northern Jacana Truths

  • The northern jacana is among 2 species discovered in the Americas, from the USA to Panama.
  • This jacana species is appreciable by the yellow wattle on its temple and the yellow-colored- eco-friendly trip plumes.
  • These birds are fairly social and stay in little swarms with a leading female.
  • They are nonmigratory yet might sometimes roam north to the Southern USA.
  • Males and females provide alarm system phone calls and cost at trespassers.

Where to Locate the Northern Jacana

The northern jacana resides in The United States and Canada in 13 nations, consisting of the USA, Mexico, Costa Rica, Cuba, and Jamaica. Their population is most focused from Mexico to Panama and just sometimes wanders to the Southern USA in Texas, Arizona, and Florida. You will certainly commonly locate this bird near seaside locations in marshes, swamps, fish ponds, and lake margins. Their environments have to consist of drifting plants like lily pads and water hyacinths. In the USA, you can find them in superficial freshwater fish ponds.

Northern Jacana Nest

Males make freely- built systems on drifting marine plant life. Periodically they include plants around the eggs as nesting product to aid hide them.

Scientific Name

The northern jacana (Jacana Spinosa) is from the Charadriiformes order, which has 390 bird species that live near water and eat invertebrates. Its Jacanidae family incorporates the jacanas, a team of exotic waders. The genus, Jacana, consists of the American species, consisting of the northern and wattled jacana.

Dimension, Appearance & Habits

Northern Jacana
Northern jacana emit “gathered note phone calls with their young or breeding set. They will certainly likewise make alarm system phone calls when endangered.Jean- Baptiste Toussant/Shutterstock. com

The northern jacana is a tool- sized wader, gauging 8 inches long and evaluating in between 3 and 5 ounces, with a 20- inch wingspan. They have a little yellow wattle on their temples and bony stimulates on their wings to safeguard themselves from predators Males and females have similar coloring, that includes dark brownish bodies, yellow costs, and black necks and heads. Its key and second plumes are yellow-colored- eco-friendly and noticeable when in trip. They release “gathered note phone calls” with their young or breeding set. They will certainly likewise make alarm system phone calls when endangered. This species is fairly social and takes place in little swarms with a leading female. Like various other jacanas, the northern species is a weak flier and favors to pitch in the water.

Movement Pattern and Timing

These birds do sporadically move, yet they might sometimes wander off to Texas, Arizona, and Florida after a period of excellent rains.


Northern jacanas are predators that mainly eat insects.

What Does the Northern Jacana Eat?

The northern jacana’s major victim is marine insects, yet they likewise take in little fish, snails, worms, crabs, mollusks, and seeds. They forage by strolling on drifting plant life and selecting insects off plants or the water’s surface area. You might likewise locate them in the mud or open ground near water.

Predators, Risks, and Conservation Status

The IUCN provides the northern jacana as LC or “least concern.” Because of its comprehensive array and considerable population dimension, this species does not fulfill the “endangered” condition limits. While they are not experiencing any type of existential risks, they might be at risk to shedding their marsh environments in the future.

What Consumes the Northern Jacana?

Northern jacana predators consist of boa constrictors, snapping turtles, predators, and numerous animals. Purple gallinules, a crain- like rail species, are their most considerable nest killer. These birds will certainly swipe eggs and young when the male jacana is away. To safeguard themselves and their young, northern jacanas spread their wings, provide duplicated alarm system phone calls, and cost at trespassers.

Reproduction, Youthful, and Molting

The reproducing period differs throughout its array yet typically accompanies the stormy period. Northern jacanas take part in a polyandrous breeding system, in which the females copulate with numerous males to spread their egg clutches about, and the males are entirely accountable of taking care of the eggs and increasing their young. Females lay 4 eggs, and males nurture them for roughly 28 days. While the young fledge the nest 1 day after hatching out, they are very shielded up until they are around 8 weeks old. They might remain under the defense of their dad for approximately one year. Jacanas can not begin their very own areas up until they go to the very least 2 years of ages. These birds have an ordinary life expectancy of 6.5 years.


The worldwide northern jacana population is approximated to be 500,000 to 5 million fully grown people. We do not recognize their population pattern, whether they are raising or reducing, due to the unpredictability over the influences of environment alteration. Nonetheless, there do not seem any type of severe variations or fragmentations in their numbers.

Similar Animals:


  1. Red List / BirdLife International, Available here:
  2. JSTOR / The Wilson Bulletin Vol 103, Available here:

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