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Regularly Occurring Limpkins of the United States


The Limpkin (Aramus guarauna) is a large, wading bird.  The Limpkin is a unique species in the United States.  In is only found in Florida and near swamps and other wetlands.  Primarily brown with white spots and streaking. Despite being a relatively common bird, Limpkins are considered to be vulnerable due to habitat loss and degradation. They are protected by law in many areas of their range, and conservation efforts are ongoing to ensure their survival.

They have a unique appearance.

A long, curved bill that they use to extract freshwater snails from their shells.  Dark brown, mottled plumage with white streaks on their head, neck, and wings.

The head is relatively small in proportion to the body, and the neck is long and slender. The legs of Limpkin are long and yellowish in color, and the toes are slightly webbed.

Overall, they have quite interesting look.


Adult Limpkins can range in size from 25-33 inches (63-84 cm) in length and have a wingspan of 40-42 inches (102-107 cm). They have a distinctive, loud call that has been described as a screaming wail, which can often be heard at night.


Limpkins are generally solitary birds that feed mainly on snails, as well as other small aquatic invertebrates such as crayfish, insects, and freshwater mussels. They are also known to eat small fish and amphibians on occasion.


Limpkin Pictures


Photograph © Sam Crowe



Photograph © Greg Lavaty

Note the somewhat curved shape to the fairly long and heavy bill.


Photograph © Greg Lavaty

Feet are not webbed.  Legs dark, may appear dull green.


Photograph © Greg Lavaty

The Limpkin has a funny flight posture.   They make a call similar to the Sandhill Crane.

Facts of Limpkin

  • The Limpkin is a unique species in the United States.  In is only found in Florida and near swamps and other wetlands.
  • 4-7 eggs.  Length: 2.2-2.5 in (5.5-6.4 cm) & width: 1.6-1.8 in (4.1-4.6 cm)
  • They use sticks, stalks, leaves, vines and rushes for foundation to their nests and finer material (For example spanish moss) above it.



About the Author

Sam Crowe

Sam is the founder of He has been birding for over 30 years and has a world list of over 2000 species. He has served as treasurer of the Texas Ornithological Society, Sanctuary Chair of Dallas Audubon, Editor of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's "All About Birds" web site and as a contributing editor for Birding Business magazine. Many of his photographs and videos can be found on the site.

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