Limpkin: Large, unique marsh bird, dark brown body, white streaks on neck, back, wings, breast. Bill is slightly decurved. Neck and legs are long. Vaguely resembles an ibis. Feeds on freshwater snails, mussels, frogs, crustaceans and insects. Direct flight with quick upstrokes and slow downstrokes.
Range and Habitat
Limpkin: Resident locally in southern Georgia and Florida; also found in the American tropics. Preferred habitats include wooded and brushy swamps and marshes.
The Limpkin has a large range, estimated globally at 12,000,000 square kilometers. Native to a majority of the Americas and surrounding island nations, this bird prefers forest, savanna, and wetland ecosystems. The global population of this bird is estimated at 1,000,000 individuals and does not show signs of decline that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the Limpkin is Least Concern.
The Limpkin is named for its limping-like flight with its dangling legs and jerky wing beats.
It was once very common in Florida, but due to the decline of its primary food source, the Florida Apple Snail, it is now listed as a SSC (species of special concern).
The only species in its family, it is considered most closely related to rails and cranes.
A group of limpkins are collectively known as a "hobbling" of limpkins.