A family of 'big-foot' birds spotted in SW China
Updated 16:46, 20-Sep-2022

Pheasant-tailed jacanas have been spotted raising chicks in Qinghuahai National Wetland Park in Baoshan City, southwest China's Yunnan Province. Three chicks were hiding under their father's wings after getting wet in the rain. 

Pheasant-tailed jacanas, known as "water phoenix," nest near shallow lakes or ponds. Their main diet includes insects, fish and certain aquatic plants. Thanks to their elongated toes, they wander around floating plants in search of food.

Interestingly, pheasant-tailed jacana is polyandrous – one female may mate with different males in a single season. Female birds fight one another for mating territory, and the winner will win the hearts of males and lay eggs. The males, then build nests, help hatch eggs and raise the chicks themselves.

When the chicks are born, they are under the protection of their father. To protect them from predators like turtles, snakes and rats, their father often makes a high and sharp whistle like sound to distract enemies.

Seven weeks later, some chicks continue live in the habitat where they were hatched, while some find other places to nest.

The birds are under second-class state protection in China.

(Cover image and video provided by Zhu Bianyong.)

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