Unmistakable. A rufous bird with a white neck and yellow upper breast, and a contrasting black-and-white head that highlights the blue frontal shield. The extremely long toes and nails, which enable it to walk over floating vegetation, are diagnostic.
Sexes are alike but female is larger. Juvenile is pale than adults, lacks the frontal shield and has a white belly. Might be confused with Lesser Jacana, but is very much larger, lacks the white trailing edge to secondaries, and has dark upperwing coverts.
Wetlands with floating vegetation, especially water lillies.
Noisy; a sharp, ringing 'krrrek', rasping 'krrrrrrrk' and barking 'yowk-yowk'.