Archive for January 30th, 2011


1/30/2011: Limpkin, Viera Wetlands

Happy Sunday!

I can still remember my excitement in seeing my first Limpkin, a wader, strangely unrelated to the herons and egrets that share its habitat. It is the only species in its family, thought to be somewhat related to the rails and cranes, and has a very restricted range…only occurring in Florida, where it feeds on the declining population of Florida Apple Snails. It is listed as a “species of special concern”.

Viera Wetlands is an easy place to see and photograph Limpkins. Several individuals were feeding there the day I visited. This shot was late in the day when the lowering sun brought out the copper in the feathers.

Canon SD4000IS behind the 15-56x Vario eyepiece on the ZEISS DiaScope 65FL for the equivalent field of view of a 3000mm lens, 1/500th at ISO 125. Effective aperture of f8. Programmed auto.

Being Sunday, I will express my sense of gratitude to the folks who preserved our National Wildlife Refuges as habitat for the amazing birds of Florida…or, in the case of Viera Wetlands, who created new habit. I know things could be better, and that we could do better as stewards of this creation, but I am always reminded at places like Merritt Island NWR and Viera Wetlands (not to mention Bosque del Apache and Estero Lano Grande and Brigantine) that things could be a lot worse, and would be without the efforts of concerned humans, knowingly or unknowingly fulfilling the task the creator gave them.

One more Limpkin…from earlier in the day.

And the video:


Limpkin, Viera Wetlands, FL