Walk on water little jacana.
- A jacana is a wader, and is also known as a ‘Jesus bird’, ‘lily trotter’, ‘lotus bird’ and ‘jaçana’.
- Jacanas are tropical birds found throughout the tropical regions of the world, that live in shallow lake areas, ponds and wetlands.
- There are eight known species of jacanas that come from the family ‘Jacanidae’, and males range from 15 to 39 cm (6 to 15 inches) in length and the females are slightly larger.
- Jacanas’ diet consists mainly of insects, molluscs and other small animals found in a lake habitat, as well as aquatic seeds.
- Jacanas appear to walk on water, and have long legs and large feet and claws or toes up to 7 cm (2.75 inches) long, which allows the bird to walk on lily pads and other vegetation in the water.
Image Courtsey of Val Laird
- Jacanas are typically brown in colour with pointy beaks and are good swimmers and divers. and can stay under water for long periods of time.
- Jacanas build nests from plant material, that sit on floating or submerged vegetation.
- Jacana females lay approximately four glossy eggs that are camouflaged with different markings, and the male sits on them and looks after the chicks.
- Some jacanas have spurs on their wings which they use for fighting, and their wings are sometimes used to pick up eggs or their young to move them to another location.
- Jacanas rarely leave their lake habitat to walk on land, and they only fly short distances.
Jacanas, 2013, Wikipedia, < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacana>
Jacanas aka Lotus Birds, Lily Trotters or Jesus Birds, n.d, Avian Web, < http://www.avianweb.com/jacanas.html>
Laugh, laugh, laugh like most kookaburras. Well this one doesn’t.
- Blue-winged Kookaburras are large kingfishers with long beaks. The males have blue tails, while the females have red-brown tails.
- Blue-winged Kookaburras are also known as Barking Jackass, Howling Jackass and Leach’s Kookaburra.
- Blue-winged Kookaburras were first recorded by Sir Joseph Banks in 1770, who thought the kookaburra was a Laughing Kookaburra. Nicholas Vigors and Thomas Horsfield corrected the mistake in 1826.
- Blue-winged Kookaburras are found in the southern parts of New Guinea and the wetter parts of northern Australia.
- Blue-winged Kookaburras eat small animals that live on the ground; like reptiles, insects and mammals
- Blue-winged Kookaburras live in trees and nest in tree holes.
- Blue-winged Kookaburras lay 3-5 eggs that are white and a little shiny.
- Sometimes, in the first week of being born, Blue-winged Kookaburra babies sometimes aggressively kill their youngest sibling.
- Adult Blue-winged Kookaburras fly quite slow.
- Blue-winged Kookaburras cackle, trill, bark and screech.
Broadfoot, E 10 June 2010, Blue-winged Kookaburra, Australian Museum, <http://australianmuseum.net.au/Blue-winged-Kookaburra>
Buff-banded Rail – interesting name!
- The Buff-banded Rail is also known as the Banded Landrail or Rail and its scientific name is ‘Gallirallus philippensis’.
- The Buff-banded Rail is from the specie group ‘ralligae’ or the rails, and there are 26 total subspecies of the Buff-banded Rail, including those which are extinct.
- The Buff-banded Rail is found throughout most of Australasia.
- A Buff-banded Rail is normally 28-33 cm when fully grown.
- The Buff-banded Rail has high pitch double cheeps.
- The Buff-banded Rail lives near water and rainforests.
- The Buff-banded Rail is a shy but terrestrial bird
- Buff-banded Rail flick their tails frequently.
- The Buff-banded Rail feed on invertebrates, small vertebrates, seeds and fallen fruit and vegetables.
- The nest of a Buff-banded Rail is usually constructed with grassy or reddish foliage situated near the water, and usually contains 5-8 eggs.
Buff-banded Rail4 October 2012 , Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buff-banded_Rail>
Pizzey, G 1997, Field Guide to the Birds of Australia, Angus&Robertson, Australia