Limpkin • Aramus guarauna
The limpkin, a tropical wetland bird, is one of Siesta Key’s year-round natives. The bird’s unusual name comes from the European explorers who first noticed its uneven gait as it hurried away. Long legs and a long bill give the limpkin an advantage as it methodically stalks its next meal along the edges of freshwater wetlands or slow-moving waterways in search of snails. A long, slender bill is the perfect utensil to probe the mud for snails. With tweezer-like precision, the limpkin pries open the snail shell for the treat inside. Limpkin nests—whether in tall marsh grasses, atop floating vegetation, or in the tree canopy—are never far from the water. While this subtropical wading bird is sometimes mistaken for a night heron or an ibis, it is more closely related to cranes and rails. The best time to observe the limpkin in action is at dawn or dusk as it forages for a tasty snail.
Jan Baumgartner’s handmade notecards showcase Siesta Key natural scenic beauty and wildlife. Siesta Key Notecards are available in two locations:
5239 Ocean Blvd / Sarasota
Shelly’s Gift and Christmas Boutique
4420 S. Tamiami Trail / Sarasota