Monthly Animal Fact – The Jesus Bird

Ed’s Note: This post was written by Contributing Editor, Kate Derrick.

During my recent trip to Darwin I came across these awesome little birds and fell in love with them.

The Comb Crested Jacana is also known as the Lotusbird or the Jesus Bird, as it appears to walk on water.

The Jesus Bird lives in tropical and sub-tropical wetlands and can be found in the northern parts of Australia. It spends most of its time on floating vegetation and rarely comes to shore.

These little guys only weigh between 68-150 grams. They have very long legs and toes which help them to walk on the floating vegetation.

The male and female look similar except the female is slightly bigger and brighter in colouring.

The female Jesus Bird may mate with several males and then leaves the male bird to build the nest (which he does on the floating vegetation), incubate the eggs, and care for the young. She’s not the motherly type. If the chicks are threatened, Dad picks them up under his wings and carries them to safety. How cute!

If you are ever visiting the Top End a must-do is a billabong cruise. The bird life is amazing and seeing these little guys walking amongst the water lilies is such a beautiful sight.

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