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African Jacana - Actophilornis africanus

African Jacana - Actophilornis africanus
Photo Information
Copyright: Carl Landsberg (Jakkals) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 187 W: 3 N: 587] (2813)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2012-05-22
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 40D, Canon EF 600mm f4.0L IS USM
Exposure: f/8, 1/1600 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2012-05-30 11:39
Viewed: 2960
Points: 40
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Thanks to Steve Pryor who correctly identified this bird. It is an African Jacana - Actophilornis africanus.
Thanks Steve.

I have been absent from TN for a while due to personal commitments.
This photo was taken at the Sunset dam near Lower Sabie in the Kruger National Park. I used a Beanbag and a panning plate.
Enjoy and comments are welcome.

African Jacana Actophilornis africanus

This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence 30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Taxonomic source(s) Dowsett, R. J.; Forbes-Watson, A. D. 1993. Checklist of birds of the Afrotropical and Malagasy regions. Tauraco Press, Li, Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 1,000,000 individuals.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Ecology Behaviour
This species is nomadic in relation to changing water levels with some individuals travelling as far as several kilometres between suitable habitats (del Hoyo et al. 1996). The species may breed in any month of the year in permanent wetlands but only during the wet season in seasonally flooded areas (del Hoyo et al. 1996). It has a polyandrous mating system, with males holding nesting, breeding, foraging and chick-rearing territories while females mate with several adjacent males (del Hoyo et al. 1996). The species forages singly, in pairs or in dispersed family groups (Urban et al. 1986) and may occasionally gather in small, loose flocks (Hayman et al. 1986). Habitat The species inhabits permanent or seasonally flooded shallow freshwater wetlands, requiring floating vegetation (especially water-lilies) for nesting on, as well as tall emergent vegetation near the shore for cover (del Hoyo et al. 1996, del Hoyo et al. 1996) and stagnant marshes with open water, flooded grassland, waterways choked with vegetation (e.g. water-lettuce Pistia spp., water-hyacinth Eichhornia spp., water-fern Salvinia spp. or water-weed Elodea spp.), small lakes, dams (Urban et al. 1986), ponds (Hayman et al. 1986) and the sheltered shores, inlets (Urban et al. 1986) and backwaters of broad slow-flowing rivers (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996). The species also forages amongst waterside plants or on dry land along the edge of water (Hayman et al. 1986). Diet Its diet consists predominantly of insects (del Hoyo et al. 1996) (e.g. dragonfly nymphs, bees) (Urban et al. 1986) and worms, as well as spiders, crustaceans, molluscs and occasionally seeds (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Breeding site The nest is usually a simple, partly submerged pad of aquatic vegetation, although on deeper water nests are often placed on small floating rafts of vegetation (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Management information There is evidence that the species is able to switch to nesting on less stable mats of floating aquatic plants (such as the exotic water-fern Salvinia spp.) if water-lilies are destroyed by invasive coypu Myocastor coypus in wetlands (del Hoyo et al. 1996).

The species is locally threatened by wetland degradation and loss through flooding (as a result of hydroelectric projects), drainage and overgrazing (del Hoyo et al. 1996).

Further web sources of information

View photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Malpas, L.

IUCN Red List evaluators Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2012) Species factsheet: Actophilornis africanus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 07/06/2012. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2012) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 07/06/2012.

Marco2010, maaciejka, Silvio2006, CeltickRanger, Argus, pirate, Mamagolo2, Miss_Piggy, bungbing, Alex99 has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Miss_Piggy: African JacanaJakkals 1 06-11 09:37
To cuckooroller: Lesser JacanaJakkals 1 06-04 11:51
To pirate: ThanksJakkals 1 06-03 12:57
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2012-05-30 11:45]

Hi Carl.spectacular capture of this microparra,the white is overexposed but the brown plumage seems made in bright bornze! Magnificent details and very nice and elegant position too,i like it! Have a nice evening and thanks,Luciano.

Ciao Carl,
Stupenda foto di questo uccello con un’ottima nitidezza e relativi dettagli,stupendi i colori com la composizione molto bella complimenti.
Ciao Marco.

HI Carl,
interesting photo of this bird. Perfect composition.
Thanks for sharing,

Ciao Carl, fascinating composition with lovely bird in nice pose, fine details, wonderful natural colors and splendid sharpness, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2012-05-30 13:43]

Hallo carl,
Fantastische close foto van deze Jacana. Uitstekende details en erg mooie kleuren. Prima compositie.

  • Great 
  • ana974 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 477 W: 48 N: 968] (4857)
  • [2012-05-30 16:07]

Hello Carl!
What a lovely pic showing this elegant bird.I love its pose...very charming!The colors are outstanding!So well done!!!Thanks for sharing and also thanks for you kind comment in my last pic.I appreciated it!
Best wishes from,

Hello Carl

Excellent close-up shot of this wader bird,
with fine POV, beautiful light and color tones,
excellent focus, sharpness and details, TFS


Hi Carl,
a splendid shot of this colourful Jacana. Near and clear!

Hi Carl

The golden bronze plummage of the Jacana is eye catching especially in this pose and much more so with the rippled blue water BG.. Wonderful capture and composition.


hello Carl
very nice picture with great details and beautiful colours
very nice light and great sharpness
thanks greeting lou

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2012-05-31 11:33]

Hello Carl,
A superb close-up of this Jacana species. The pose is great and taken from the best POV with fine sharpness and natural colours in a pleasing composition. The OOF water BG sets it off well too.
Thanks and best regards,

Hi Carl
above all perfect compo and nice colors
the white cheek area is burned but all the other plumage just perfect
one minor problem is the visible noise in the bg, maybe due to 400 iso with the 40D or better visible with sharpening, however there is not a single over sharpening artifact
the sharpness with the 600 mm is amazing, maybe you need the 7D now a camera so much better than the 40D and even 60D.

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2012-05-31 13:52]

Hello Carl.
Very nice portrait of a beautiful bird,excellent detail and perfectly sharp photo.
Colours and background are nice too.Best regards Siggi

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2012-05-31 19:28]

Hello Carl,
A very attractive bird that I'm not really familiar with. It reminds me of a type of stork or heron with it's big powerful looking legs. It is such a gorgeous bird with beautiful markings and vivid colors.

Hi Carl,
Unfortunately, you will have to adjust the blurb.

The ID is incorrect. This is not a Lesser Jacana - genus Microparra.

This is an adult African Jacana - Actophilornis africanus.

Hello Boet,
Beautiful image of this Jacana. I like the plumage detail. Stunning colours and beautiful pose. The ripple effect in the water completes the image beautifully. Great notes. Well done.

Hallo Carl
I have been away for longer than a month recovering after an operation and I missed out on lots of beautiful images. Luckily I am able to leave my penny of thoughts on this one.
I just love the different colours in this Jacana's feathers and more so because of the natural sunlight highlights it to the best. I also like the backdrop created by the water and the beautiful circles on the water's surface. Thanks for sharing. Best regards.

Hello Carl,
A beautiful picture of this African Jacana, great clarity, good sharpness, nice pose and lovely colours, a very well captured,
Thanks for sharing and have a nice week,
Best Regards,

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2012-06-18 8:22]

Hi Carl.
Pictured bird is very beautiful and you have pictured at an attractive moment. Details of the image as well a colours are great. I also like square cropping. White spot on the bird head is OE a little bit but it is not a point. Warm regards and TFS.

Hi Carl, What a very impressive capture of this fine African Jacana my good friend, lovely lighting with superb colour tones, nice and sharp, good composition, great effort here Carl and very well done,
Best Regards,


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