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Pheasant-tailed Jacana: A Magnificent Water Bird

Updated: Aug 1

Pheasant-tailed Jacana: A Magnificent Water Bird



Pheasant - tailed Jacana


Pheasant - tailed Jacanas (in group)


On a pleasant Sunday morning, while passing through outskirts Of Kanpur near new Airport site, we spotted some birds with long, curved tails feeding inside shallow water of paddy field. The unique long tail and bright yellow patch on back of the neck attracted us and we moved nearer to have a close view of these birds. Later we identified them as ‘Pheasant – tailed Jacana’ – a magnificent water bird we have never seen before. Viewing of a group of these birds inside muddy water of lush green paddy field was really blissful.

Salient features of Pheasant-tailed Jacana:

· They have magnificent long curved tail from which they derive their name.

· White colour on upper wing & underwing and distinctive yellow patch on sides of neck imparts beautiful look to these birds.

· They characteristically have very long toes, which enable them to walk over floating vegetation. They normally inhibit freshwater lakes, ponds and marshes.

· Their call is a distinctive ‘me-e-ou’ or ‘me-oup’.

· They are very active bird and found in group. They feed mainly on insects, molluscs etc.

· Its scientific name is ‘Hydrophasianus chirurgus’ and it belongs to ‘Jacanidae family.

· Its Hindi name is पिहू (Pihu or Pihuya)’.


Pheasant - tailed Jacanas

# Now-a-days sighting of ‘Pheasant-tailed Jacana’ is rare due to decrease in wetlands and other water bodies. We must make effort to save/restore our dwindling wetlands for survival of such beautiful birds. Overall, every creature has its vital role in the ecosystem.

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