A single-species family consisting of the Limpkin, named after its distinctive limping walk. Tend to be active at dusk and night. Rarely active during daylight, and only in cover.
- The bill is distinctive – long, heavy and curved downwards, to allow the bird to feed on snails.
- Plumage is drab, dark brown with an olive luster above.
- The feathers of the head, neck, wing coverts, and much of the back and underparts (except the rear) are marked with white, making the body look streaked and the head and neck light gray.
- Legs are long and dark-gray and the neck is long.
- It is about 66cm long and weighs about 1.1kg.
- Males are often aggressive over territory.
- Confrontations include charging and loud calling.
- The bird searches visually for snails in clear water, or by jabbing or sweeping with its bill.
- It can pull out a snail in 10 to 20 seconds without breaking the shell.
- Usually a loud, unmistakable wild wail or scream, several at a time: “kwEEEeeer” or “klAAAar”. It is usually heard at night, at dawn and at twilight.
Where & how to spot in Manu:
- The nest, a platform of sticks and vegetation, can be on the surface of floating vegetation or even on tree limbs high above the ground.
- Always seen by water.
- Watch for its limping gait, as it searches the water for snails.
- See it walking by lake edges or on open floating vegetation.
- Active all day with special peaks in the morning and afternoon.