limpkin


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limpkin

or

courlan

(ko͝or`lən), common terms for a long-legged, nonmigratory marsh bird, considered the connecting evolutionary link between the crane and the rail. They have a cranelike skeletal structure, but their digestive system, as well as their nesting habits and behavior, is raillike. There is only one species, Aramus quarauna, which is divided into 5 subspecies, some found exclusively in South America and the others found from South Carolina and Florida to Argentina. Limpkins are large (28 in./70 cm) grayish-brown birds that feed on freshwater snails and mollusks. Their name derives from their limping flight, with legs dangling and wingbeats jerky; although weak and infrequent fliers they are good swimmers. Limpkins roost in trees and nest in marsh grass or low bushes. They lay four to eight eggs per clutch with both male and female incubating the young. They are noisy birds; their sad call gives them the name "crying bird." Because limpkins were considered good food birds, they were almost wiped out in Florida and Georgia. Today, they are protected and are regaining their former abundance. Limpkins are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Gruiformes, family Aramidae.
References in periodicals archive ?
Limpkin won the Robert Capa Gold Medal from Life magazine in 1972 for reporting on the fighting in Northern Ireland.
Only a week before, I had seen and photographed another limpkin, but that one was out in the wilderness, picking up freshwater clams from a streambed.
Habitat structure effects on size selection of snail kites (Rostrhamus sociabilis) and limpkins (Aramus guarauna) when feeding on apple snails (Pomacea spp.).
Little blue herons, white ibis, tricolor herons, great egrets, and limpkins are becoming more plentiful.
Mark Robbins, an ornithologist at the Natural History Museum at the University of Kansas, calls it "a key step in creating a Florida Everglades-like scenario of destruction in the Pantanal, and an American Great Plains-like scenario in the Cerrado in southern Brazil." The Paraguay-Parana feeds the Pantanal wetlands, one of the most diverse habitats on the planet, with its populations of woodstorks, snailkites, limpkins, jabirus, and more than 650 other species of birds, as well as more than 400 species of fish and hundreds of other less-studied plants, mussels, and marshland organisms.
Their closet relatives are the rails, limpkins, bustards, and trumpeters, all of which are placed in the order Gruiformes.
Bird lovers also are treated to sights of storks, herons, kingfishers, isises, and limpkins. Visitors see dozens of mammals and reptiles, including marsh deer, black howler monkeys, jaguar, alligators, anteaters, the crab-eating fox, iguana, the guinea pig-like capybara, and yellow anaconda snakes that can measure up to 33 feet long.
Herons, cranes and limpkins strut through its shallows, feeding in the muck.
Among the wildlife that will benefit are numerous bird species, including limpkins and gal-linules, as well as alligators, fish and invertebrates that depend on clean water, and a downriver population of manatees.
White-tailed ptarmigans provide that service at Mount Rainier and Rocky Mountain; Colima warblers and lucifer hummingbirds at Big Bend; wood storks, limpkins, short-tailed hawks, and white-crowned pigeons at Everglades; and bridled quail-dove at Virgin Islands.
Watch for hawks, bald eagles, ospreys, great blue herons, American egrets, snowy egrets, turkeys, black vultures, tricolored herons, little blue herons, limpkins and white ibis.