The pheasant-tailed jacana of southeast Asia is not only possibly the most spectacular of the jacanas, it is also unique in its behaviour. Most jacanas are sedentary birds, staying in one location throughout the year. Pheasant-tailed jacanas at the northern part of their range, however, will breed in southern China and the Himalayas, then winter in southern India and southeast Asia. This makes them the only migratory jacanas.
Jacanas are weak fliers and will not go more than a short way on the wing. Many African species, in fact, will moult all of their flight feathers at once and be thus unable to fly until those feathers grow back. In contrast, however, they are excellent swimmers and divers. When a jacana senses danger, it will often dive underwater and remain there for a long time, with only the tip of their beaks protruding from the water so they can breathe.