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The adults have a chestnut back and wing coverts, with the rest of the body mainly black. In flight the greenish yellow flight feathers are obvious. These are conspicuous and unmistakable birds.The females are larger than the males.
The jacanas are a group of wetland birds, which are identifiable by their huge feet and claws that enable them to walk on floating vegetation in the shallow lakes that are their preferred habitat. The Wattled Jacana (Jacana jacana) is a wader which is a resident breeder from western Panama and Trinidad south through most of South America east of the Andes.