Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Limpkin, Green Cay Wetlands, Florida

Howdee all,
Today I want to show you one one of my favorite birds..
See the dead tree in the distance?Green Cay_358There is a Limpkin on top…
Green Cay_353

A  Limpkin can extract a snail from its shell in less than 20 seconds.
Green Cay_360Limpkins were once common in Florida, but because of the decline of its primary food source, the Florida Apple Snail and habitat loss… it is listed as a species of special concern.
Florida is the only state in the US where Limpkin breed.
Green Cay_361These photos were all taken at Green Cay, where we saw a few Limpkin….
When we first birded in Florida four years ago we searched for Limpkin and felt lucky when we saw them…
Jeff and I went for a walk at John Prince Campground the other morning and saw about 20 Limpkin….
Green Cay_366This Limpkin hung out on its tall perch and called for quite a while
until an Anhinga took its place..Jeffs photos Green Cay_018
Play the video below and hear the call….
Limpkin Calling
This video below is from John Prince Park in Lake Worth


  1. Sad that they are declining but you really got some great pictures... Loved it!
    Have fun & travel safe

  2. It looks a bit like a cross between a stork and a heron Dawn. Brilliant scenes.

  3. I wanna be there!!!!
    Limpkins were also hunted in Florida, the crackers love them.
    Apple snails also disappeared in Florida due to collectors. Limpkins and apple snails can still be found in the Everglades.
    Hope you Jeff are having a good time.

  4. Your photos are stunning! I saw my first and only Limpkin at Celery Fields in Sarasota, FL. Thankfully their were lots of apple snails in the area. A most beautiful bird!

  5. I've never seen a Limpkin before - or heard one either! Great video with sound!!! How cool!
    You've made a Limpkin Lover out of me :)

  6. That bird was freaking Phineas out! Ha! What a screamer!

    Thanks for the pictures. I've never even heard of Limpkin before! Guess I need to get out a little more ; )

  7. Btw, I thought I heard a Pileated Woodpecker at the beginning of that video.

  8. squawmama
    Thanks! You travel safely too!

    Yeah..its a cool bird!

    Thanks for that info! You better get cracking yourself and buy a place here!

    Julie G.
    Thanks Julie...appreciate your kind comment..Glad you saw a Limpkin!

    Oh Cool! Another Limpkin Lover! :)

    A New England Life
    hee hee..Hope Phineas is ok....Yeah..I didnt know of the bird either until a few years ago. :)
    Oh..I will have to go back and listen to the video.thanks!

  9. There's a lot of misinformation here unfortunately. Limpkins are actually increasing in South Florida, south of Lake Okeechobee. Apple Snails come in two types: the native (smaller) one which is in decline and the larger exotic one whose population is exploding everywhere and the reason for the increase in the Limpkin population. Sadly, this exotic Apple Snail increase has not benefited the endangered Snail Kite, which feeds on the same snail. That's a whole other matter. And, the decline in Apple Snails in Florida has nothing to do with collectors. These aren't Florida Tree Snails (LIguus Snails)!

  10. Also, although Apple Snails are the preferred food of Limpkins, they will eat other things such as small crabs and invertebrates if they need to. . . .

  11. Anonymous..
    Thanks for sharing all that great information!
    So..who are you? I love to know my readers and you have me very curious :)

  12. Awesome post Dawn and great shots of the Limpkin! Digiscoped?

    Love the video of the screaming too. I guess I need to see this bird in person. I feel the need for a trip to Florida ;-)

  13. Let me tell you about my Limpkins. One morning at 5:00 AM I hears what sounded like a woman being attacked outside my bedroom window. You may think these birds are terrific, but for the next week they screamed at each other at that hour--not exactly what I would call terrific when you are trying to sleep. Then the screaming became sporadic and later in the morning. However, this morning I saw the mama and her newly hatched baby outside my kitchen window. Apparently there is a nest dug out under the water's edge. I guess it was worth losing sleep after all!

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