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Lesser Jacana | Microparra capensis

The Lesser Jacana is a Southern African bird that belongs to the jacanidae bird family group which includes birds such as Jacanas.

The description for the Lesser Jacana (Latin name Microparra capensis) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Microparra capensis can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 241 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 383. You will find a picture of the Lesser Jacana on page 305.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Lesser Jacana between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The Lesser Jacana is known in Afrikaans as Dwerglangtoon.

The Lesser Jacana has a height of 16 cms and weighs around 41 gms. The head is coloured golden, rufous while the bill is coloured brown. The Microparra capensis has a white coloured throat, green legs and a brown coloured back. The eyes are brown.

The male Microparra capensis has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is golden, rufous

Eyes are brown

Bill is brown

Legs are green

Throat is white

Back is brown

Feeding Habits ...

This bird has a specially adapted bill which helps it hunt for fish, crabs, shrimp and other aquatic animals in the water.

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten .

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Lesser Jacana is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 2 to 5 eggs and they are coloured white.

The bird builds its nest above water as a means of protecting itself from predators and to be close to its main food source which includes fish, shrimp and frogs.

The Lesser Jacana is found in the Southern African wetlands, riverine forests and moist grasslands.

The bird is at home in riverine forests and close to water bodies such as lakes, dams and streams

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Lesser Jacana is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

It is also seen in flocks

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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