' The Bird in your Backyard - Bronze Winged Jacana

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The Bird in your Backyard - Bronze Winged Jacana
By Dr Anand & Geeta Pereira

August 13, 2013

The Bronze winged Jacana pictures that you are about to view are commonly observed in water bodies, ponds, lakes, wet lands, marshy areas in and around Mangalore and almost in all similar habitats throughout India. We request you to take time to stop while you drive towards Padil, Bejai, Nantoor, Kavoor, Ullal, or Suratkal and observe these bronze colored beauties in their natural wetland habitats. This brief article is written to awaken the senses of the common citizens to the accelerated disappearance of marshy areas and wetlands in and around Mangalore in particular and the rest of the Country in general, leading to the disappearance of these winged beauties. Today, many of these habitats in and around cities are drained to allow for urbanization. These natural buffering areas continue to be under direct and indirect pressures from human settlement that may result in further loss or degradation.

As explained in most of our earlier articles on nature conservation, this particular article is written as an eye opener to maintain the natural balances disrupted by recent human activity. These wetlands help buffer the city from cyclones, floods and drought. Little do we realize that these wetland and marshy areas are our first line of defense during tropical storms? However, due to construction activity, many of these wetlands are disappearing at a spectacularly swift pace. By 2020, if nothing is done to stop this process, the country could lose more than 50 % of the coastal wetlands. Importantly, our beautiful city Mangalore with its pristine surroundings will become even more vulnerable to future impacts of climate change in the form of cyclones and floods.

The many pictures depicted in this article capture the Bronze winged Jacana's bird movement right from an adult to a juvenile. Whenever we have the opportunity to write an article and post pictures in Daijiworld, we take care to provide pictures of the subject in many different angles so that school children and nature lovers can identify the birds more accurately in the field. Kindly note, a small shift in angle will reveal altogether new details that are important for identification. We do hope you enjoy the pictures and take time to spot these wonders during your week end sojourns.

The Bronze winged Jacana are a group of waders with short tails. The legs and toes are long with enormous straight claws which enable the birds to run easily over the floating leaves of aquatic leaves. The bird has a wide distribution throughout India. The bird is sedentary and the female lays four black marked brown eggs in a floating nest. The males take responsibility for incubation. These birds can also be found in ponds very close to human habitation and when disturbed or threatened seek refuge in the undergrowth of weeds or try to hide by covering lotus leaves as depicted in a few of the pictures. Even though, scientific literature points out to the fact that these birds are highly territorial, our observations point out that that a group of six to seven birds share a common territory. We have observed a large population of these birds during summer times and they wonderfully co exist with humans.

Description: These are conspicuous and unmistakable birds. They are 28 to 29cm (~11") long, but the females are larger than the males. Adult birds have beautiful bronze colored wings, with a striking white eye stripe. The yellow bill extends up as a red coot-like head shield, and the legs and very long toes are grey. Young birds have brown upperparts. Their under parts are white, with a buff fore neck.

Diet: The Bronze-winged Jacana's feeds on insects and other invertebrates (= animals without internal skeleton, such as larvae, earthworms, millipedes, snails, spiders) picked from the floating vegetation or the water's surface.

Mating: Bronze Winged Jacanas have a territorial, sex-role reversed system. They are polyandrous, and the females are larger and more brightly colored than their male counterparts. The females compete with each other for harems of males to incubate their clutches of eggs. Each female’s territory encompasses one to four males and their individual territories.

Conclusion: The relation between wetlands and birds is shaped by many factors like availability of food and shelter.  We have observed many species of birds in and around Mangalore, both resident and migratory, but over the past few years (5 years) bird numbers seem to be declining and the single most threat to birds is Habitat loss. Loss of such wetland ecosystems has huge impact on birds because many aquatic birds depend on wetlands almost totally for breeding, nesting, feeding, or shelter during their breeding cycles. Another important point that we would like to make is that there is very little information regarding the Bronze winged Jacanas behavior on the World Wide Web. It is time, for students to carry out a small project on this beautiful bird and publish it on the net.


Dr Anand & Geeta Pereira - Archives



Comments on this article
janekere.R.paramesh, sakaleshpuraMonday, October 14, 2013
ಡಾ.ಆನಂದ್ ಮತ್ತು ಗೀತಾ ಪೆರೆರಾ ನಿಮಗೆ ನಮಸ್ಕಾರಗಳು, birds ಪೋಟೋಗಳು ಅದ್ಬುತವಾಗಿವೆ..ನಿಮ್ಮ ಬಿಡುವಿಲ್ಲದ ಸಮಯದಲ್ಲೂ ಇಂತಹ ಒಂದು creativity ಬೆಳೆಸಿಕೊಂಡಿರುವುದಕ್ಕೆ ತುಂಬು ಹೃದಯದ ಧನ್ಯವಾದಗಳು
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SOWMYAPRABHU, KODLIPETThursday, August 22, 2013
Your article is very excellent ,Nice photographs and very informative
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PRABHU H V, TUMKUR/TRIVANDRUMThursday, August 22, 2013
Dear Dr Anand Sir and Geetha Madam,
Thank u for educative article Bronze winged Jacana,s , I really grateful for ecological alarming massage for those least concern about nature, ecology and environment .You have nicely narrated the and forecasted the massage that, in future Mangalore is under threat because of recent urbanization and globalization. Disappearance of Bronze winged Jacana,s is ecological imbalance / treat indicator for Mangalore and for all urbanization areas too .
This is wonderful massage for, basic Mangalurians , future thinkers, administrators, policy makers, Mangalore Corporatist and Common citizens of Mangalore go back to their dreams and think and realize sanctity , prosperity of Mangalore 15-20 years back and what is now?
After reading your article I have wondered being Mangalore is of costal, water rich wet land and marshy and slowly vanishing its own beauty and sanctity because of modern invaders.
Your photos are mind blowing and crystal clear clarity in colorific description of bird morphology and habitat. Your zoological and physiological massage, Bronze winged Jacana,s polyandrous and male have role incubation of eggs is very much interesting and excellent.
Your article surely educate the common man regarding the conservation of the Bronze winged Jacana,s by way of not destroying the marshy and wet land that may help like buffer for floods and draughts .
Now also Mangalurians, administrators did not wake up in this regard, time and nature will teach the lesson like Uttarakand fllods etc. for humanity
Thank for devote your precious time for thinking about goodness of Mangalore, We request to keep updating future threats for ecology and environments.
Sowmya and Prabhu H V
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Rakesh, SakleshpurTuesday, August 20, 2013
Time management & hard work !!!
Lot of things to learn from you both..& of course great pictures
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Abdul Samad, UdupiSunday, August 18, 2013
These are wonderful creatures of god and what a pleasant to watch. Its amazing to know, we have so much beauty in surrounding areas and unfortunately, we overlook them. The article itself is eye opener for people like me and so you all. I have recently been to homeland and still missing those greeneries. Hope one day we all can settle back in our beloved homeland.
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Sr. Marie Prem D'Souza, Bendur, MangaloreSunday, August 18, 2013
Students of St. Agnes College would like to engage in a project of wet lands of Dakshina Kannada.This article would be of great help. Congrats to both of you Anand and Geetha. Let us encourage the next generation to conserve nature in all is beauty.
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Jagadish Anchan, MangaloreFriday, August 16, 2013
Hello Dr., very very thanks to you for informing about this beautiful bird. Great pictures and articles.
Thank you
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jerardin dsouza, mangalore/bangaloreFriday, August 16, 2013
JACANA !!Of course a thorough treatment on the subject.!! The lovely Lucky Chicks have FOUR Guys......& He Sits at home & Heats the eggs.Happy Lazy Guy....eh?.!!!!Very Informative & quite detailed.Are they NOT being hunted & Eaten ?? Quite possible. Dr.Anand.& Geetha. You seem to have found your sweet spot in unveiling such beautiful & 'with nature' stories.. Away from the madding crowd & the other debates that go on in Facebook makes one shudder..Kudos for your missionary zeal in enlightening the so called ""enlightened""...[our rulers] Thank you,both.Rehabilitation or Prevention should start NOW!!!
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peter, MangaloreThursday, August 15, 2013
Dear Anand and Geeta,
You are the best.
We (including the birds in your backyard) are so proud of you.
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Adv. Harry D'Souza, Kolachikambla, Mulki, DahisarThursday, August 15, 2013
I enjoyed this type of scene during my childhood. Our house is situated in the area Arabian sea, shambhavi river and many lakes whose water we used to carry out farming.
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Leona Pais, BrisbaneThursday, August 15, 2013
Dear Dr Anand & Geeta.

Wonder full article & very colurfull pictures.

Regards-Leona Pais
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Liza Gina Pais, BrisbaneThursday, August 15, 2013
Dear Dr Anand & Geeta.

Thank you for the beautiful article.

Regards-Liza Gina Pais ( Brisbane)
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Leander Pais, BrisbaneThursday, August 15, 2013
Dear Dr Anand & Geeta.

Very nice article & i do remember we once went to lake at Mysore on your morning walks "Karanji lake" does the "Bronze Winged Jacana" belong to the same category?

Thank you.

Regards-Leander Pais
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Allen Pais, BrisbaneThursday, August 15, 2013
Dear Dr Anand & Geeta-Excellent article & i would not have noticed the bird "Bronze Winged Jacana" without reading & visually seeing the pictures in your beautiful article,I have faint memories of seeing a similar bird in Mysore closer to Karanji lake.

The pictures that you have portrayed are always memorable & they are very colorful.

Thank you once again for the excellent work.

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Bopanna P.T, Bangalore/CoorgWednesday, August 14, 2013
Dear Dr Anand,
Thanks for your link. The same has been shared in my FB group Coorg/Kodagu books.
Best wishes,
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Stany & Josephine Dsouza, Miyar / MumbaiWednesday, August 14, 2013
Very nice article, great pictures of flora and fauna Dr. Anand. I too am a lover of nature, but due migration to a city missing a lot. Hope to meet you soon in Mangalore.
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venkatraman shenoy, mangaloreWednesday, August 14, 2013
very very informative article , loved to read it , very gud photos , neatly written , gud work anand ,
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jimmy noronha, Bellore, LucknowWednesday, August 14, 2013
This bird in its multiple acts is really stunning, I really got it eyeful. Thanks.
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Anjali Sahasrabudhe, Melborne.AustraliaWednesday, August 14, 2013
Great pictures Titus and Geetha.
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Tony Crasta, Sydney/MangaloreWednesday, August 14, 2013
Beautiful photography, and interesting information on bronze winged jacana birds, viz. "the males take responsibility for incubation". Also, "the females are larger than the males".

Enjoyed the article - thanks Dr. Anand & Geeta.
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Ivan Frank, mangaloreWednesday, August 14, 2013
Beautiful picturisation of Bronze Winged Jacana. Very informative.
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Shivashankar, karkalaWednesday, August 14, 2013
Nice shots and informative. keep them coming.
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G Fernandes, MangaloreWednesday, August 14, 2013
Thank you Anand & Geeta. Wonderful article. Your articles are a great source of knowledge. keep it going.
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Patric Tauro, KadriWednesday, August 14, 2013
Thanks Anand.Great pictures and write ups
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John Prakash Pereira, Newark. U.S.AWednesday, August 14, 2013
Concerns for Bronze Winged Jacana well articulated. Great photographs.
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Allen Pais, AustraliaWednesday, August 14, 2013
Excellent work Dr Anand
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Dr.Jatinder Singh, Boston. U.S.AWednesday, August 14, 2013
Thank you, Anand & Geeta for the amazing pictures and informative article.
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RAYMOND GOVIAS, Texas. U.S.Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Thanks ever so much for this great article on the Bronze winged Jacana.
I have never ever seen this bird in my life. Thanks for all the wonderful mails you 2 send me.
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joseph rego, mangaloreTuesday, August 13, 2013
Dear Anand, Lovely Photographs. Are these Birds to be seen in mangalore now-a-days.Well done Anand. Keep it up.
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manoj baptist, bangloreTuesday, August 13, 2013
Amazing piece of information and appreciate the pictures.
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Lura Lee, Washington. U.S.ATuesday, August 13, 2013
Good to hear from you both. Glad to see that you are doing well. What a beautiful bird. :) Thank you for sharing.
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nihal, sakleshpurTuesday, August 13, 2013
Thank you for the very informative article.Since these birds are present in mangalore i will show it to my friends and try to make it as a class project.
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Lyra/Richard Pinto, Mangalore/sakleshpurTuesday, August 13, 2013
The bronze winged Jacana is a real beauty(beau). The angle you have clicked the pictures are awesome. One can just keep watching them on and on. Truly agree with you, if one does not maintain the coastal wet lands,our place will be more and more vulnerable to the natural calamities.Superb work. Appreciate your dedication and patience. You both are a true inspiration to the younger generation and also people at large.
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Prem Colaco, Sakleshpur/MuscatTuesday, August 13, 2013
Dear Dr Anand & Geetha,
I enjoy reading & watching anything about Wildlife.
Its always good to know the Habitat & how these birds thrive.

Thank you very much for sharing this article.
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Well wisher, UdupiTuesday, August 13, 2013
Conservation is too far to achieve as we are on our way to destruction. Its very late now as it is irrepairable, lets wait and see if money power will work with nature.
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julia pereira, sakleshpurTuesday, August 13, 2013
The birds are a treat for the eyes. Carry on the good work.
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Amanda, MangaloreTuesday, August 13, 2013
Lovely pictures uncle and a very informative article. will definitely make it a point to research about this bird.
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Alder D'Souza, Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Great shots uncle!! :D
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