This bird is a limpkin, the sole member of the family, Aramus guarauna, and found in Florida, the West Indies, and Northern South America. Its common name came from its "limp", not actually a limp but an unusual gait where it lifts its feet high and twitches its tail while walking. (It swims too, serenely like a duck).

This adult became my companion almost, as I was quietly watching as s/he was gliding about on the water with young babies, and then it hopped out to the edge of the creek (about 10 feet from me). As I remained still and quiet s/he "limped" around near me, foraging for snails to bring back to the young'uns.

The limpkin is something of a gourmet, a fan of snails (escargot) and the apple snail in particular.

[Limpkin and Escargot Dinner]

Limpkins are known for their large wing span and are strong fliers, as well as talented swimmers and diggers.

[Limpkin in Flight]

They are also known or their loud screeching, which can be heard echoing around marshes and swamps. (Endearing to many, but not always to nearby human neighbors.)

Below is a short (22s) sample, comparatively soft and subdued, of the limpkin's call and clicking.

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