Reserva Ecológica Costanera Sur

Sitio realizado por aficionados a la observación de aves desde 10 de enero 2006

Limpkin - Aramus guarauna

Order: Gruiformes - Family: Aramidae
Status: Resident - Frequent - Breeder. Habitat: Woods

caraú JST 11 14© J. Simón Tagtachian
The Limpkin was an emblematic bird in the reserve while its favourite food, apple snails, grew abundantly. By 2000 the water of the pond became salty enough and these snails disappeared since they are freshwater snails. So did the limpkin which became an occasional visitor. With fresh water back in the ponds apple snails repopulated the pond and so did the limpkins
All records since January 2014


© Cora Rimoldi

© Cora Rimoldi
A young calling
Caraú/Limpkin© Nicolás Giorgio
Dark brown with long neck dripped white. Long and greyish legs.
Caraú/Limpkin© Gustavo F Brahamian
Long orange or yellowish bill with blackish tip. Visible separation between mandibles.
Caraú/Limpkin© José Alberto Lell
Caraú/Limpkin© J. Simón Tagtachian
In flight with stretched neck tilted downwards. Primaries separated like fingers.
The nest is a platform of reeds or sticks which is made either on the ground of marsh vegetation or on tree branches. They lay up to 7 eggs.
Caraú/Limpkin 1-1-16 © Victoria Mansilla
Keeping too many chicks demands too much effort and patience. It is not simply to provide food to the offspring but parents must teach them to remove the fleshy part from the shell. And they take a kid at a time. This means time.
The limpkin keeps growing and learning how to eat. Part I and II.
© Claudia y Tito Di Mauro
Caraú/Limpkin© Diego Carús
Caraú/Limpkin© Nicolás Giorgio
In 2015 the abundance of apple snails favoured limpkins' settling down at the pond. Six individuals were spotted and there were families breeding simultaneously as shown in the photos. (See Development cycle)
Caraú/LimpkinInside the circles are clusters of rosy eggs laid by the apple snail which is the limpkin's favourite food
© Nicolás Giorgio

© Claudia y Tito Di Mauro
The limpkin feeds in shallow waters either visually or by probing with the bill for snails which keep under the water. Here the limpkin is holding one in his bill. We can only see the snail's shell since the snail hides inside by closing a plate, the operculum, which acts like a door to protect it from the predators.
To extract the snail the limpkin pecks at the shell to make a hole in it. By passing the bill around the shell the operculum gets loose. With vigorous shaking the limpkin takes the already dead snail out of the shell and breaks the muscle which attaches the snail to the shell. CR
More photographic records since January 2013