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Limpkin Eating Apple Snail

Aramus guarauna

Description:

I saw at least 25 of them from the boardwalk. Their bills are specially adapted to eating apple snails, which are the large snails you can see in the photos. The bill tip is curved so it can be slipped into the snail's right-side chamber. I observed and took video of them pecking ferociously at the operculum of the snails. You can see in photos 4 & 5 it was successful and managed to pop the operculum off. In the video there is some footage of one successfully opening and eating an apple snail. I was surprised at how hard the snails' opercula were, as I watched some of them take many hard blows from the Limpkin's beak, like watching a spear hitting a wall. Video of the limpkins eating the apple snails: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxzre_BD...

Habitat:

Next to the boardwalk of La Chua Trail in Payne's Prairie. The surrounding area was flooded from recent rains.

Notes:

Most of these apple snails were likely invasive species (I only saw eggs of Island Apple Snails, spotting here: https://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/16...), but the Limpkins and Snail Kites were having a snail feast. In the last photo you can see just one of many piles of discarded snail shells thanks to the birds.

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2 Comments

Machi
Machi 11 months ago

Thanks Tukup! I think they are really cool birds :)

Tukup
Tukup 11 months ago

Great shots and great video Machi. Thanks so much. Amazing process to get a bite to eat.

Machi
Spotted by
Machi

Florida, USA

Lat: 29.60, Long: -82.28

Spotted on Dec 11, 2018
Submitted on Feb 25, 2019

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