Bird’s ID – Limpkin
The Limpkin (Aramus guarauna), also called carrao, courlan, and crying bird, is a bird that looks like a large rail, but is skeletally closer to cranes. It is the only extant species in the genus Aramus and the family Aramidae. It is found mostly in wetlands in warm parts of the Americas, from Florida to northern Argentina. It feeds on molluscs, with the diet dominated by apple snails. Its name derives from its seeming limp when it walks.
The limpkin is a somewhat large bird, 64–73 cm (25–29 in) long, with a wingspan of 101–107 cm (40–42 in). Body mass ranges from 900 to 1,300 g (2.0 to 2.9 lb), averaging 1,080 g (2.38 lb). The males are slightly larger than the females in size, but no difference in plumage is seen. Its plumage is drab—dark brown with an olive luster above. The feathers of the head, neck, wing coverts, and much of the back and underparts (except the rear) are marked with white, making the body look streaked and the head and neck light gray. It has long, dark-gray legs and a long neck. Its bill is long, heavy, and downcurved, yellowish bill with a darker tip.
Limpkins are active during the day, but also forage at night. Where they are not persecuted, they are also very tame and approachable. Even so, they are usually found near cover. They are not aggressive for the most part, being unconcerned by other species and rarely fighting with members of their own species.
Because of their long toes, they can stand on floating water plants. They also swim well, both as adults or as newly hatched chicks, but they seldom do so. They fly strongly, the neck projecting forward and the legs backward, the wings beating shallowly and stiffly, with a jerky upstroke, above the horizontal most of the time.
I have never heard of such a bird, thank you for the introduction.
I don’t think they have these in Europe. Thanks, Susan. 🙂
Limpkins are so cool. Your pictures are beautiful. I have seen them only a few times. Reports are that we had one here in Illinois just recently. Wonder how that happened!
That’s a good question! Thank you very much, Lisa. 🙂
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Gorgeous pictures, HJ!
Thanks so much, Clare. 🙂
Absolutely love the Limpkin. I’ve seen it a few times when I go down to Florida. I wrote about one along with the other wildlife I saw when I explored the boardwalk at the Fakahatchee Strand. My picture of the Limpkin is no where near as good as yours (it’s a tad blurry lol). Check it out here: https://njurbanforest.com/2019/08/03/exploring-the-fakahatchee-strand-big-cypress-bend-boardwalk-southwest-florida/
Thanks for visiting my blog and sharing important information. 🙂
I would’ve guessed they’re related to ibisses! Have a love for nature and you’ll learn something new every day!
I love nature too! I learn more things daily. It’s so interesting. Thanks, D.
Also quite common in Bahamas – interesting birds. And boy can they make a noise – google ‘limpkin call’ for some YouTube examples. RH
Thanks so much, RH. 🙂
Beautiful photos, HJ, love the close-up! 🙂
Thanks. Donna. 🙂