Monday, October 31, 2005

My encounter with a Northern Jacana Jacana s. spinosa
I was headed out to the market, it had just rained alot. Steps from my front door (on the ground) I came upon this immature Northern Jacana. It was a tangle of wet feathers and first I thought that it was dead, but as I crouched closer and picked it up it moved. Very weak I took the bird into the house and gave it a superficial check, no broken wings, legs or neck.
It could not stand on its own, its eyes were open. I dried it off a bit, wrapped it gently in an old dry sock, that seemed to soothe the bird a bit.
I sent the neighbor kid out to the marsh to get some small minnows.
I was able to feed it about 15 small minnows.
After four hours in the house, I noted that it could stand on its own.
Taking advantage of the daylight, I took the Jacana to the edge of the marsh and released it in the shade some 2 meters from the edge of the marsh. I watched it for a while, it seemed to be alert and was taking a few steps.
I left it there with the hope that it would fit in to it´s new surroundings. Jacana young are precocial (able to move about and feed soon after hatching),
this individual I estimate to be 8 to 9 months old.
The mystery is how it got into town, in 8 years I have yet to see a Northern Jacana in flight over the town.
Good birding,
David McCauley
I was able get some closeup pics of this bird,
click on the thumbnail pics below to see the larger image.

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