Pheasant-tailed Jacana

This species is defined as a Review Species . Please submit your records of this species via our record submission page .

Scientific Name: Hydrophasianus chirurgus

Malay Name: Burung-Teratai Ekor Panjang

Chinese Name: 水雉

Range: Found from Indian subcontinent, China, Indochina, Philippines to Borneo and winter to Thai-Malay Peninsula, Indonesia and Northern Australia

Taxonomy: Monotypic.

Size: 29-31.5 cm

Identification: Non-breeding adult has drab brown upperparts, white underparts, short tail, yellow-buff supercilium/neck-side, dark crown and black eyestripe that leads to breast-band. Breeding adult has mostly blackish-brown body, white head/foreneck, yellow-buff hindneck, long black tail and mostly white wings. Juvenile resembles non-breeding adult but has rufous-chestnut crown and weaker/brownish breast band.

Habitat: Well-vegetated freshwater marshes and less suitable habitats on passage like mangroves, ponds, lakes and reservoirs.

Behaviour/Ecology: It is the male that take care for the young.

Local Status: Rare migrant

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2016)

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Past records in our database:

Showing only accepted records. Note that records currently under review are also not displayed, and the list may not be a full list of records of this species in Singapore. For more details, check the database here.

Migrant bar chart (see more bar charts):

Pheasant-tailed Jacana Hydrophasianus chirurgus
Average number of individuals by week based on Singapore Bird Database data, Jul 2013 to Jun 2023 (all records)
Peak week May 07-May 13
Early date 30 Oct 2022
Late date 16 May 1899
A locally rare waterbird occasionally recorded in Singapore. Despite the name, only breeding-plumaged birds are truly "pheasant-tailed". During the winter months, birds have short tails.


BirdLife International. (2016). Hydrophasianus chirurgus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016. Accessed on 1 January 2023

Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.

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