Lovin’ the Limpkins

April 1, 2014 at 6:58 am (Bird photography, Birds- Florida, Great Florida Birding Trail, Nature, Photography, Wildlife) (, )


Mama Limpkin, Green Cay Nature Center

Mama Limpkin, Green Cay Nature Center

” Its screaming cry is unmistakable and evocative.” – Cornell Lab of Ornithology

My friend in Boynton Beach, Florida who is kept awake by the male limpkin’s territorial screech at night isn’t too compassionate that the species is considered of “special concern” due to habitat loss.

Limpkin calling

Limpkin calling

The limpkin thrives on native apple snails and freshwater clams.  In the U.S. it only breeds in Florida, but they are common in Central and South America.  Although limpkins resemble herons and ibises, they are more related to rails and cranes, and are in a taxonomic family of their own.

Limpkin chick

Limpkin chick

This is a life bird for many who visit Florida, and the bird is surprisingly accommodating.  Limpkins frequent the many man-made lakes and waterways in the ubiquitous gated communities of South Florida, and as you can see, will even pose for pictures.

Limpkins, Green Cay (10)

These images were taken in March 2008 in the new Green Cay Nature Center and Wetlands in Boynton Beach.  While at the Viera Wetlands in January I saw a mother with four half-grown chicks cross the dirt road.  Occasionally one is seen as far north as the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in southern Georgia.

Mother Limpkin and two babies

Mother Limpkin and two babies

From the Cornell Lab website:  “The Limpkin’s bill is uniquely adapted to foraging on apple snails. The closed bill has a gap just before the tip that makes the bill act like tweezers. The tip itself is often curved slightly to the right so it can be slipped into the right-handed chamber of the snail.”

Limpkins, Green Cay (9)


The Great Florida Birding Trail has a list of other sites to see this interesting bird.

Limpkins, Green Cay (8)

Limpkins, Green Cay (5)

Limpkins, Green Cay (3)

Limpkins, Green Cay (1)

Feel free to reblog or share

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  1. Victor Rakmil said,

    Great post, wonderful photographs.

  2. Jet Eliot said,

    Incredible to have found babies! Great photos as well.

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