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Jacana

- Noun

Any of several wading birds belonging to the genus Jacana and several allied genera, all of which have spurs on the wings. They are able to run about over floating water weeds by means of their very long, spreading toes. Called also surgeon bird.


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    The northern jacana or northern jaçana (Jacana spinosa) is a wader which is a resident breeder from coastal Mexico to western Panama, and on Cuba, Jamaica and Hispaniola. It sometimes breeds in Texas, United States, and has also been recorded on several occasions as a vagrant in Arizona. The jacanas are a group of wetland birds, which are identifiable by their huge feet and claws which enable them to walk on floating vegetation in the shallow lakes that are their preferred habitat. They are found worldwide within the tropical zone. In Jamaica this bird is also known as the 'Jesus bird', as it appears to walk on water. Jacana is Linnæus' scientific Latin spelling of the Brazilian Portuguese jaçanã, pronounced [ʒasaˈnɐ̃ ], from the Tupi name of the bird. See jacana for pronunciations.

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    Jácana is a barrio in the municipality of Yauco, Puerto Rico. Its population in 2010 was 1,690.

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    Jaçanã is a municipality in the state of Rio Grande do Norte in the Northeast region of Brazil.

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