The Limpkin is found throughout Florida in freshwater marshes, along the shores of ponds and lakes and in wooded swamps. Its range, its habitat and distribution are dictated by the presence of it's preferred prey, the Apple Snail.

It forages by walking in shallow water, visually searching and probing in mud amongst floating vegetation. As photographed, I waited for the Limkin to jump off of the shored boat, enter the water and begin the search for a snail. It was textbook....viola..... lunch for the Limpkin. It was photographed near my hometown of Zephyrhills, FL. along the shore of our families favorite lake. Needless to say.........my camera goes everywhere.

The Limpkin will also eat other types of snails, mussels, insects, crustaceans, worms, frogs and lizards. The tip of it's bill is usually curved slightly to the right, which may help in removing the snail from it's curved shell.

The Apple Snail has one native species in Florida, the Florida Apple Snail, but the majority of these snails throughout the state are one of four non-native exotic varieties. One exotic variety, the Island Apple Snail is the most abundant and could easily be found in the brackish waters on the bay side of our barrier islands. It is believed that increased non-native varieties of Apple Snails could crowd out the native Florida Apple Snail. Veracious exotic snails feed on a variety of aquatic vegetation, fruits, vegetables and algae. The Channeled Apple Snail, another non-native exotic snail is listed as one of the world's worst invaders.

Limpkins in your neighborhood signal the presence of Apple Snails. If it's a popular spot, there will be plenty of empty shells littering the area. Plenty of hungry Limpkins, observation and control methods are what's needed to control these large non-native snails.

Limpkins are not as popular as other wading birds on Sanibel but have been documented several times on the course. Limpkins and Apple Snails.......good luck on these sightings and in this case the view of one will likely lead to seeing the other.