Posted By Lauriel O. Posted On

“African Jacana” Why does this strange bird have so many legs?

This is the moment a devoted dad hides his chicks from danger but bundling the tiny flock under his feathers.

An African Jacana was spotted as he scooped up his chicks after sensing danger, leaving just the youngsters’ legs dangling out of his feathers, while he balanced on a water lily leaf in South Africa.

The male performs all the nesting duties in a African Jacana couple, and cares for the babies from eggs to chicks.

These photographs were taken by Jose Fragozo, from Johannesburg, South Africa in Kruger National Park in his native country.

Mr Fragozo, said: ‘In the first image, the African Jacana and his three chicks play on water lily leaves.

‘Then you can see the father sense danger and protectively hides the chicks under his wings before waddling away from the scene.

‘It was so funny.

I’ve never seen anything like this before, it was so cute.

‘He was such a caring father but was obviously a bit grumpy that his chicks had got themselves into danger again.’

The bird seems to significantly grow as his chicks find protection under him, but the feathered siblings hang from their dad and their legs can be seen dangling just above the water.

Submerging into his feathers, the chicks seem well protected, and their brighter yellow tones become invisible to any nearby predator.

An African Jacana male cares for a pair’s chicks until they are 40 to 70 days old.