Pheasant-tailed Jacana

Pheasant-tailed Jacana

Hindi name: Piho

Pheasant tailed Jacana is a wader bird. It is easily identifiable by their wide feet and claws which enable them to walk on floating vegetation.

How does the bird appear…

Breeding adults are mainly black with 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 have much shorter tail. The under parts are white. There is brown breast band and neck stripe. The side of the neck is golden.

Young birds have brown upper parts and white under parts. It shows weak brown breast band.

Habitat: Where to find this bird?

The bird is usually found near fresh water lakes and ponds with floating vegetation. It especially favours wetland with lotus, water-lilies and other similar aquatic plants.


Pheasant tailed Jacana picks food from floating vegetation and water surface. Feeds on insects, invertebrates. The bird also takes frogs and fishes.

Breeding & Nesting

The females are more colourful than the males and are polyandrous. Its breeding season is from March to July. In southern India, it breeds in the monsoon season June-Sept. It nests on floating vegetation. Male incubates eggs and cares for young by carrying them under wings. Female responsibility of territory guarding.

Interesting fact

This is the only Jacana to have a different breeding plumage.

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