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limpkin (en); carão (pt); courlan brun (fr); carrao (es); rallenkranich (de)
The limpkin is found from Florida, in the Unites States, through southern Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, and into South America, mostly east of the Andes, down to northern Argentina.
These birds are 64-73 cm long and have a wingspan of 101-107 cm. They weigh 0,9-1,3 kg.
Limpkins are mostly found in and around fresh water swamps and marshes, along the shores of lakes, in mangroves and wooded swamps along rivers. They can also be found in moist savanna and moist tropical forests. They occur from sea level up to an altitude of 1.500 m.
They mainly feed on fresh water snails, namely Pomacea, but also take fresh water mussels, seeds, small reptiles, frogs, insects, worms and crayfish.
Limpkins can form large colonies, with the the females being responsible for building the nests, large structures made of rushes, sticks and other plant materials, placed on the ground, in dense floating vegetation, in scrubs or in trees at any height above the ground. There the female lays 4-8 grey to buff or deep olive eggs with light brown markings, which are incubated by both parents for about 27 days. The chicks leave the nest soon after hatching, being able to walk and swim, but rely on their parents for food and brooding. They reach adult size after 7 weeks and leave their parents about 16 weeks after hatching.
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has an extremely large breeding range and a global population estimated at 1 million individuals. The overall population trend is stable, although some populations have unknown trends, and the population trend is increasing in North America.