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Limpkin Identification

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The Four Keys to ID

  • Size & Shape

    A heron-sized bird with heavy body and long neck and legs. The bill is long, fairly thick, and curves slightly downward, like a larger version of a rail’s bill.

    Relative Size

    Larger than a night-heron, much smaller than a Great Egret.

    Relative Sizegoose or largergoose-sized or larger

    • Both Sexes
      • Length: 25.0-28.7 in (63.5-72.9 cm)
      • Weight: 37.0-48.3 oz (1050-1370 g)
      • Wingspan: 39.8-42.1 in (101-107 cm)

Regional Differences

Three subspecies found in Florida, Mexico, the Caribbean, and most of Central America are very similar to each other. A fourth subspecies that occurs from eastern Panama through South America, known as guarana, is smaller, darker, and has white markings only on the neck. Some authors have considered guarana to be a separate species.