February 25, 2015

Flyby



One of the birds we wanted to see on our Florida trip was a limpkin.
It is a marsh/wetland bird that looks similar to a heron it is more closely related to rails and cranes.

After we saw one in the marsh we saw them all over, flying by, walking on the road or chasing each other.



Aramus guarauna

An unusual bird of southern swamps and marshes, the Limpkin reaches the northern limits of its breeding range in Florida. There, it feeds almost exclusively on apple snails, which it extracts from their shells with its long bill. Its screaming cry is unmistakable and evocative.

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.
source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

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