In case you are not aware, from reading previous blogs, I live in South Florida. My house backs up to a lake (really small – some people call it a “pond”) and we have many different tropical birds that come to grace us with their presence. They seem to rotate with the change in weather and temperature.
One in particular, appears in the Spring and is still with us into the start of Summer. It is called a “Limpkin.” I don’t know why; he doesn’t limp, but that is his official name. He’s an interesting one.
He is a loner as a rule, but once in a while, he has a like kind “friend.”
Mr. and Mrs. Limpkin
His call is a shriek that will wake you up before dawn and continue nonstop for a long while, so that you cannot fall back asleep. He seems to know when to do his dastardly deed. We hardly ever hear him during the day; although, he can be seen around the lake.
Mr. Limpkin, shrieking and wading in the lake.
At times, he will flap his large wings a few times and sail onto someone’s rooftop.
LImpkin in flight toward someone’s roof.
He isn’t a particularly beautiful tropical bird (some would say he’s boring as tropicals go): his feathers are colored a medium brown, and some are spotted with white; however, when flying freely, he is so graceful.
So graceful when in free flight.
Closeup of spotted feathers.
Long legs allow him to wade in the water at the edge of the lake, looking for snails. He is perfectly suited to look for snails along the edge of the lake where there is muddy, grassy areas in which to forage. No, he’s not a snail shell collector in one sense, but is in another: it’s his food of choice; rather, the snail that lodges in the shell.
His favorite (only) food.
It’s so interesting to watch him eat his food. He really has to work hard for it. It only starts with finding the snails.
He has a good hold on that snail.
Once the Limpkin grabs a snail in its long beak (only large snails will do), it brings it up onto drier soil and pounds it onto the dirt like a jackhammer, After only a few thrusts with the drill bit, it’s reward time!
Mama Limpkin is a good teacher for her young.
We (myself and my neighbors) get our reward when he decides he has had enough of this neighborhood, flies off to “greener” pastures (er, lakes), and then we can awake on our own time!
[Images from bingdotcom]