Bronze-winged jacana

   ›      ›   Bronze-winged jacana - Metopidius indicus

The bronze-winged jacana (Metopidius indicus) belongs to the family of jacanas, the Jacanidae.

The bronze-winged jacana species are distributed in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, China, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Nepal and Indonesia. These jacana species are polyandrous. These jacanas are monotypic species.

Overview & Quick Facts Description & Identification
Pictures of Bronze-winged Jacana Distribution & Range
Ecosystem & Habitat Diet & Feeding Behavior
Breeding Habits Migration & Movement Patterns
Conservation & Survival IUCN Status
Taxonomy & Classification Bird World

Appearance, physical description and identification

The bronze-winged jacana (Metopidius indicus) is a medium sized jacana, measuring 28 to 32 cm in length.

These is sexual dimorphism in these jacana species. The females are larger and weigh 220 to 350 grams whereas the males weigh 150 to 200 grams. The wingspan is 50 to 55 cm. They are bronze-winged and have the characteristic white eyestripe.

The overall plumage of these jacana species is black. The head and the neck are black with blue gloss. The back, scapulars and upperwing-coverts have greenish gloss. The tail and the vent region are rufous. The underparts are black with green gloss.

The bill is large and strong. It is bright yellow at the tip, greenish-yellow in the middle and red tinged at the base. In juvenile birds the bill is mostly greenish yellow. The legs and toes are long and dull green in color. Their call is a shrill “seek-seek-seek” and short harsh grunting sound.
Indian birds - Picture of Bronze-winged jacana - Metopidius indicus
Birds of India - Image of Bronze-winged jacana - Metopidius indicus by Francesco Veronesi

Birds of India - Image of Bronze-winged jacana - Metopidius indicus
Indian birds - Picture of Bronze-winged jacana with egg - Metopidius indicus by J.M.Garg

Indian birds - Image of Bronze-winged jacana - Metopidius indicus
Birds of India - Photo of Bronze-winged jacana - Metopidius indicus by Srikaanth Sekar

Origin, geographical range and distribution

The bronze-winged jacana species are distributed in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, China, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Nepal and Indonesia. The Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) of these jacana species in Vietnam is U Minh Thuong.

In India, the bronze-winged jacana species are distributed in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Tripura, Telangana, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Ecosystem and habitat

These bronze-winged jacana species do not normally occur in forests. These species occur in altitudes from 0 to 100 meters. The artificial ecosystems of these jacana species include seasonally flooded agricultural land and aquatic ponds and water reservoirs.

The natural ecosystems of these bronze-winged jacana species include wetlands with floating and emergent vegetation, tropical and subtropical flooded grasslands, peatlands, marshes, bogs, swamps, freshwater lakes and ponds.

Diet and feeding behavior

The diet of these bronze-winged jacana species is mostly insects. Insects, small molluscs, worms, larvae, beetles, seed and plant material are their primary food.

Reproduction and breeding habits

The breeding season of these bronze-winged jacana species is mainly in monsoon season in South India. The breeding season is during June in Indonesia. These species are polyandrous, the female partnering with more than one male in a breeding season.

Female bronze-winged jacana form harem territories, which include the territories of 1-4 males. The females defend their territory aggressively from other females. The males also defend their territory from other males.

Before laying eggs the female bronze-winged jacana may spend more time with a receiver male. After laying eggs, the receiver male takes over the responsibility of brooding and raising chicks. Meanwhile the female moves to the territory of another male and provides him with another clutch of eggs.

Migration and movement patterns

The bronze-winged jacana species are non-migrant resident birds. Post breeding, the bronze-winged jacana juveniles may disperse and establish in new locations within the range. They may make local movements for feeding and breeding within their range.

Bronze-winged jacana - Overview

  • Scientific name: Metopidius indicus
  • Species author: (Latham, 1790)
  • Synonyms/Protonym: Parra indica Latham, 1790
  • Family: Jacanidae › Charadriiformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Vernacular names: English: Bronze-winged jacana, Chinese: 铜翅水雉, French: Jacana bronzé, German: Hindublatthühnchen, Spanish: Jacana bronceada, Russian: Индийская якана, Japanese: アジアレンカク, Malay: Burung Teratai Hitam
  • Other names: Bronze-winged Jacana
  • Distribution: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, China, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Nepal, Indonesia
  • Diet and feeding habits: insects, invertebrates, snails, worms, plant matter
  • IUCN status listing: Least Concern (LC)

Conservation and survival

The global population size of the bronze-winged jacana (Metopidius indicus) has not been quantified. The overall population trend of these species is considered to be stable. Throughout its range it is reported to be common to rare. The generation length is 4.8 years. Its distribution size is about 11,600,000

The bronze-winged jacana (Metopidius indicus) does not approach the thresholds for being Vulnerable, either under the range size criterion or under the population trend criterion, or under the population size criterion. The ongoing draining of wetlands, habitat destruction and fragmentation and hunting are the main threats that may endanger the survival of these jacana species.

IUCN and CITES status

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated the jacana species and has listed it as of "Least Concern". The CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) status is ‘Not Evaluated’ for the bronze-winged jacana (Metopidius indicus).
Taxonomy and scientific classification of Metopidius indicus
Species:M. indicus
Binomial name:Metopidius indicus
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern
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1.Photo source: (cropped)
Photo author: Francesco Veronesi | License: CC BY-SA 2.0 as on 5/21/17
2.Photo source: (cropped)
Photo author: J.M.Garg | License: CC BY-SA 3.0
3.Photo source: (cropped)
Photo author: Srikaanth Sekar | License: CC BY-SA 2.0 as on 5/21/17
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