While house-hunting in central Florida a few months ago, Arthur and I saved some time for birding at Viera Wetlands. The highlight of our visit on April 27 was seeing this baby Limpkin.
Although Limpkins seem very rail-like, they are more closely related to cranes. If you can’t tell from its looks, you might notice the resemblance in its song, which sounds a lot like a Sandhill Crane.
Limpkins are residents through much of Florida. Elsewhere in the United States, their range pokes a bit into southern Georgia. They are also found in Cuba and other Caribbean islands, and through parts of Central America. Their wide distribution through Florida makes them one of the state’s specialties for visiting birders.
Unlike other (wading) birds with whom they may share feeding grounds, Limpkins survive almost exclusively on a diet of apple snails. We didn’t get to see this baby eat, but it was a lot of fun to watch him preening.
This baby Limpkin was being closely attended by two adults, but I was so smitten by its cuteness that I failed to take any photos of the parents or of the whole family together. Whoops!