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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Limpkin -- Aramus guarauna

RANGE: Resident from southeastern Georgia and northern Florida (east of the Apalachicola River) south through peninsular Florida, Central America, and South America.

STATUS: Locally common.

HABITAT: Inhabits freshwater cypress swamps, marshes of saw grass or bulrushes, bayous, sloughs, and wooded marshy rivers or streams. Sometimes perches in tops of the tallest trees or on shrubs.

SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Freshwater marshes with dense vegetation or trees and shrubs for nesting.

NEST: Commonly nests among clumps of tall grasses or other aquatic plants above shallow water. Sometimes nests 5 to 8 feet above the ground in bushes, vines, or trees along banks of streams, or on platforms just above water in dense vegetation.

FOOD: Probes for food in shallow water or in soft mud on mud flats for freshwater snails, especially Pomacea; also eats mussels, frogs, lizards, worms, insects, and a few seeds.

REFERENCES: Bent 1926, Harrison 1975, Oberholser 1974a, Sykes in Farrand 1983a, Terres 1980.

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