Year of 2017

African jacana chick in Chobe National Park, Botswana

This African jacana chick is doing something it saw its parents do: Walk across the lily pads and other floating vegetation in the shallow sub-Saharan lakes that African jacanas favor. At a glance, it may appear that the bird is walking on water, which earned this insect-eater a nickname: the ‘Jesus bird.’

The African jacana is a wader in the family Jacanidae, identifiable by long toes and long claws that enable them to walk on floating vegetation in shallow lakes, their preferred habitat. Jacanas are found worldwide within the tropical zone, and this species is found in sub-saharan Africa. For the origin and pronunciation of the name, see jacana.
Scientific name: Actophilornis africanus