Hydrophasianus chirurgus

Hydrophasianus chirurgus, Scop.

901. :- Jerdon's birds of India, Vol. II, p. 709 ; Butler, Guzerat ; Stray Feathers, Vol. IV, p. 20; Deccan, Stray Feathers, Vol. IX, p. 431; Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 258 ; Swinhoe and Barnes, Central India ; Ibis, 1885, p. 134.


Length, 18, 20; expanse, 24, 30; wing, 8, 9.5 ; tail, 10, 11; tarsus, 2.12, 2.4 ; bill at front, 1.12, 1.25.

Bill pale leaden-blue, greenish at tip ; irides dark brown ; legs pale bluish-green.

In summer plumage, the forehead, top of the head, face, chin, throat, and neck white, a broad black mark on the top of the head; hind neck pale shining yellow, edged by a dark line; upper plumage, including the scapulars and tertiaries, shining dark olive-brown with purple reflections; wings with the coverts white, first primary black, the second nearly so, and the third black on the outer webs and a broad tip ; the rest white, all tipped with black, as are the greater wing-coverts; upper tail-coverts bronzed-black ; tail black; beneath from the breast deep brownish-black, dull on the thigh-coverts; the under tail-coverts deep chesnut.

In winter plumage, the upper parts, including the lesser wing-coverts and tertiaries, are pale hair-brown, the former more or less barred with white, and the greater-coverts pure white; the top of the head and back of the neck brown, with a white supercilium, and the feathers of the forehead white spotted; a pale golden-yellow line from behind the eye down the sides of the neck, bordered by the black line from the gape, which crosses the lower part of the breast, forming a more or less broad pectoral gorget; first primary (only) with an appendage, fourth attenuated and prolonged; tail with the central feathers as the back, pale brown, slightly lengthened.

Length, 12 to 13 ; tail, 3 to 4. In young birds the superciliary line is ferruginous, passing into a less marked yellow heck-stripe, and the brown band is also less distinct.

The Pheasant-tailed Jacana occurs commonly throughout the district. It is a permanent resident, breeding about the middle of the rains, or a little later.

The nest is a heap of weeds, placed in the water in the midst of grass or rushes. The eggs, invariably four in number, are peg-top shape; the shell is compact and hard and is highly glossy; the ground color varies from greenish-bronze to rufous-brown bronze ; they are unspotted.

They measure 1.46 in length by 1.12 in breadth.

Handbook to the Birds of the Bombay Presidency
Barnes, Henry Edwin. Handbook to the birds of the Bombay Presidency, 1885.
Title in Book: 
Hydrophasianus chirurgus
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Barnes, H. Edwin
Page No: 
Common name: 
Pheasant-tailed Jacana
Pheasant-tailed Jacana
Hydrophasianus chirurgus

Add new comment

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith