Male jacanas do most of the nest building. After the female has laid a clutch of four eggs, the male takes over the parenting responsibilities. He incubates the eggs and protects them from danger. Jacana nests are built on mostly submerged plants. If the nest starts to sink, or the eggs are otherwise endangered, the male may pick them up and carry them under his wings to a new site.
Meanwhile, the female has left the male to find more males to breed with. She does not participate in raising chicks. If, however, the eggs or chicks are lost, she will return to breed and produce a replacement clutch with the first male. Only one species, the lesser jacana, is known to be monogamous.
Jacana chicks are precocial, so the male quickly teaches them how to forage for the insects, snails, worms, small crabs, fish, mollusks, and seeds that make up their diet. Chicks stay with the male for their first 40 to 70 days. The father even carries his young chicks under his wings if they are in danger.