More Limpkins

Limpkin atop a cypress tree, Green River.

I found a nice little summary of my brown-feathered wetland friends on the Florida Museum website: Five Facts: Limpkins in Florida.

1. Limpkins are named after the way they walk and sound. These leggy birds seem to limp as they walk across uneven wetland surfaces — hence the name limpkins.

2. Florida is the northern edge of their range. Limpkins live in wetlands in a great deal of Central and South America east of the Andes, the Caribbean, and parts of Mexico and Florida.

They are mostly year-round residents, with local movements but no long migrations. They have been reported recently in Georgia and Louisiana, indicating their range may be expanding.

I spotted the Limpkin on top of the cypress from the berm along the wetlands.

Wonderful to see the cypress greening again, and the wetlands recharging with water as we have been getting our first real rain in a long time. Huge crashing purple-and-green thunderstorm the other evening around dinnertime kinda freaked us all out, as it’s been months since we had one.

Spring and early summer is my favorite season in Florida, as the human world calms down and the plant and animal world comes alive.

iPhone photo of a gator at Green River a few days before.

Apparently alligators are a bit dormant in cooler winter and really like when the temps are consistently back in the 82 to 92 degree range. Mating season begins soon.

Limpkins are also thriving in Florida, and their population increasing. It’s an unusual twist on what normally happens to animal “specialists” who eat mostly one thing, as Limpkins eat apple snails.

Their apple-snail diet is a major factor that determines where limpkins live, which could explain the recent increase of populations in some areas of Florida. There’s a new invasive snail moving into Florida, Pomacea maculata, the island apple snail. They are abundant and a popular meal for limpkins. More food means more birds.

What about people? Can we eat the escargot too?

you CAN eat apple snails, but you should do so very carefully, because they could actually kill you.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s