This handsome bird is about 25-29 inches long, with a wingspan of 40-42 inches, with males slightly larger. Plumage is identical for both sexes. It is a wading bird native to warm parts of the Americas, including Florida, and its primary diet is the huge, destructive apple snails of the genus Pomacea. Aramus guarauna is the only extant member of its genus.

The word “limpkin” apparently derives from someone thinking it walks funny (I didn’t detect any weirdness, but, then again, I walk funny too), possibly carefully making sure the toes of one foot do not tread upon those of the other. The limpkin’s other names, carrao, carau, courlan, and crying bird, derive from its distinctive two-toned call, which has been used for jungle sound effects in the Tarzan films and for the hippogriff in Harry Potter.

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