Interesting Things – A Noisy, Bird Brained Harem

Comb-crested Jacana (Irediparra gallinacea)  ©WikiC

Comb-crested Jacana (Irediparra gallinacea) ©WikiC


“Whence then cometh wisdom? and where is the place of understanding? Seeing it is hid from the eyes of all living, and kept close from the fowls of the air.” (Job 28:20-21)

SmileyCentral.comScripture frequently makes reference to the fact that birds are not very smart compared to human beings. The tropical wetland bird called the jacana shows that you don’t have to be very smart to be deceptive. The jacana is noteworthy for several reasons. It is one of only 20 species of birds in the world where the female Comb-crested jacana, sometimes referred to as Jesus birdsleaves the care of the young to the males. One flock in southern India was made up of about 50 birds. The males staked out their territory on floating vegetation, often getting into violent fights with other males. Then the females, which are about 60 percent larger than the males, fought with each other for exclusive rights to up to four male territories. Once territories were established, the females would visit each of the males in her territory, mating with each.

Once the eggs are laid in each male’s nest, the female shows no more interest in her offspring. The male will care for the eggs and youngsters once they hatch, until the time they are ready to leave home. But the smaller males have their own strategy for dealing with their situation. They yell. Researchers say a yelling male is really blackmailing the larger female into giving him some attention. A yelling male attracts the attention of other nearby females who might want to take him into her own harem, so his mate comes running to pay attention to him. Sometimes males will even fake an emergency which brings his mate in a hurry. God is the source of all wisdom, and He gave each of His creatures enough wisdom to conduct their lives.

Father, I thank You for Your wisdom in Holy Scripture. Grant me understanding as I read Your Word. Amen.

S. Milius, Science News, March 6, 1999, v. 155, p. 149. Photo: Comb-crested jacana, sometimes referred to as Jesus birds. Courtesy of John Hill. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Used with permission: ©Creation Moments 2014

Comb-crested Jacana (Irediparra gallinacea) by Ian

Comb-crested Jacana (Irediparra gallinacea) by Ian

Lee’s Addition:

Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” (Matthew 14:25-27 NKJV)

What an interesting behavior from these Jacanas. Never cease to be amazed at how the Lord created His critters and their way of doing things. Did you notice how their feet were designed to support their weight? That habit of “walking on water” is why some call them the “Jesus” Bird.

The Comb-crested Jacanas are members of the Jacanidae – Jacanas Family.

Comb-crested Jacana (Irediparra gallinacea) by Ian's Birdway

Comb-crested Jacana (Irediparra gallinacea) by Ian’s Birdway

More Interesting Things

Creation Moments

Jacanidae – Jacanas Family

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Comb-crested Jacana




Wattled Jacana – The Perfect Partner

Wattled Jacana (Jacana jacana) by Ian's Birdway

Wattled Jacana (Jacana jacana) by Ian's Birdway

The Wattled Jacana is a wader which is a resident breeder from western Panama and Trinidad south through most of South America east of the Andes. Common in lowlands from Panama to northern Argentina mainly east of the Andes in southern part of range.

Frequents freshwater marshes, lakes and slow-flowing rivers where it wades in damp vegetation or walks on floating water plants, foraging for fish and insects to eat and to build their nests. Lily pads and other floating vegetation in swamps and marshes are home to jacanas.

The Wattled Jacana (Jacana jacana) is unmistakable with its exaggerated feet that are fit for a fairy tale and red, turkey like wattles. Also called the lily-trotter, its toes and toenails distribute its weight over large areas to help it sprint across aquatic vegetation as if defying gravity.

People may pass discouraging comments on your height, color, status and so on.. Remember, that our God is not a respecter of person…

The survival of these birds hinges on their exaggerated legs and toes…

  • God had created everything in us for a specific plan, so that His name maybe glorified…
  • What people see in you as weakness is in fact, your God made tool for survival…
  • Brothers saw Joseph as a dreamer, but, God saw him as a redeemer..
  • People saw Moses as a slow of speech , but God saw him as a leader..
  • King Saul saw David as a small boy, but, God saw him as a King…

…: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7)

Wattled Jacana (Jacana jacana) by Robert Scanlon

Wattled Jacana (Jacana jacana) by Robert Scanlon

The jacana (zhah-suh-NAH) is a skilled swimmer and diver—fitting adaptations for life on the Amazon River. Flooded meadows offer a floating feast of small fishes, insects, snails and vegetation. With its long, thin beak it can pluck bugs and other goodies from the tangles of floating vegetation and even turn plants over to see what’s hiding beneath. During the dry season, jacanas wade along rivers, oxbow lakes and irrigation ditches scavenging for leftovers. If threatened, young chicks, as well as adults, stay underwater for long periods of time with only the tips of their bills above water. They can also swim underwater to avoid predators.

  • When life threatens, the best chance of survival comes from staying under the Living Water…
  • We sure can learn this 100% survival technique from these birds…
  • There is not only 24×7 protection, but also, abundance under the Living Water …

And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain. (Isaiah 4:6)

Jacana eggs are true works of art. They are a deep tan color, with very dark markings that look like dribbled lines of paint, crisscrossing the entire egg in an abstract design that is different on each egg. The eggs are very glossy and shiny and look as though they have been highly polished. This “wet” appearance is nature’s camaflouge, helping the eggs resemble the glossy surface of surrounding vegetation.

Males are the primary nest builders, incubators and caretakers. Jacana nests are built on mostly submerged plants. If the nest starts to sink, or the eggs are otherwise endangered, the male may pick them up and carry them under his wings to a new site. It is the male incubates the eggs, with two eggs held between each wing and the breast, and looks after the chicks…

  • Our God, the nest builder, has built an eternal nest for us in heaven..
  • Our God, the incubator, incubates our future…
  • Our God, the caretaker, is the one who takes care of even our smallest need…
  • He is the one who not only carries us but also our dreams under His wings..
  • He is the one who holds us close to His bosom..

What an awesome God we have!!!!!

He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. (Psalm91:4)

Comb-crested Jacana (Irediparra gallinacea) by Wiki

Comb-crested Jacana (Irediparra gallinacea)©Wiki on Pads

Meanwhile, the female has left the male to find more males to breed with. She does not participate in raising chicks. After the female lays her first nest of four or so eggs, she is freed to find more mates—up to five simultaneously—and lay more eggs. She will aggressively fight with marauding female competitors to both protect her male partners and ensure that she can keep laying eggs. If, however, the eggs or chicks die, she will reunite with the first male and lay another clutch of eggs. These behaviors are a matter of survival, not a lapse of fidelity.

  • Eve preferred to see the garden all by herself…
  • If she hadn’t gone out alone, she wouldn’t have fallen into satan’s trap…
  • Most of us have gone away from His presence only to be battered and bruised..
  • Like these birds, we come back to God only after dreams die, spirit broken, left alone and feel defeated…
  • God is still waiting like the father of the prodigal son, arms stretched to embrace us back into His presence…

Are we willing to get back to the basics before The King returns? Note, He will return without prior notice…

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28 to 30)

Have a blessed day!

Your’s in YESHUA,
a j mithra

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Lee’s Addition:

Jacanas are in the Jacanidae Family of eight species. The Jacanidae family is only one of nineteen families in the Charadriiformes Order known as Shorebirds and Allies.

To give an idea of how they walk around on leaves, here is a Comb-crested Jacana (Irediparra gallinacea) by Keith B – A bird walking across water lily leaves.

Jacanas – Jacanidae Family

Comb-crested Jacana (Irediparra gallinacea) by Ian's Birdway

Comb-crested Jacana (Irediparra gallinacea) by Ian's Birdway

Jacanas or Jaçana are in the Jacanidae family of the CHARADRIIFORMES order. Their family is unique in that the Lord especially adapted them to feed among lily pads of the shallow freshwater wetlands throughout the tropical zone. They have long toes and claws that help distribute their weight over the lily pads. As they walk around on the pads, they look like they are “walking on water.” “They are found around the world, with two in the New World (Northern and Wattled), two in Africa (Africa and Lesser), the Madagascar in Madagascar, two in Asia (Pheasant-tailed and Bronze Winged) and the Comb-crested in Australasia. They are sometimes known as a “lily-trotter” or “Jesus birds.”

The females are larger that the males and the males take responsibility of the incubation of the eggs. Some of the Jacana females mate with up to 4 males and then leave them to sit on the eggs. She does help in the feeding of the newbies.

Their diets consist mainly of insects, other invertebrates and seeds picked from the floating vegetation or the water’s surface. Most do not migrate except the Pheasant-tailed Jacana which travels from the north of its range into peninsular India and southeast Asia.

I was surprised that the Purple Gallinule was not in the same Order, but they are in the GRUIFORMES order, not the CHARADRIIFORMES order. We watch the Purple Gallinules often here and they also have big feet like the Jacana’s.

Check out A Noisy, Bird-Brained Harem from Creation Moments. It tells how one of the four males tries to get attention for himself.

Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. (Psalms 102:25 KJV)


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