A Limpkin Irruption? | Outdoors My Window

Limpkin at Moraine State Park, 16 July 2023 (picture by Steve Gosser)

17 August 2023

After a limpkin was found yesterday afternoon in a small cove at Moraine State Park (first ever in Butler County!) western PA’s birding world spun on its axis and rapidly went to seek out it. Many noticed the fowl yesterday together with Steve Gosser who shared his picture above.

Limpkins (Aramus guarauna) are very, very uncommon this far north. Primarily from South America, these mussel and snail-eating wading birds have prolonged their vary solely to Florida the place they reside yr spherical.

So what’s a limpkin doing right here? And never simply “right here.” A limpkin confirmed up at Center Creek Wildlife Administration Space final month and was nonetheless there final weekend. Two limpkins have been in reverse corners of Ohio.

In reality, limpkins have been doing this loopy Northern Summer time Go to factor for a very long time but it surely seems they’ve ramped up since 2016. On 8 July 2023 Tim Healy posted a map of Limpkin Firsts in North America on the ABA Rare Bird Alert on Facebook. (The colour descriptors are for the map.)
“Scorching Limpkin Summer time ceaselessly! Preserve it going! Who’s subsequent?
Inexperienced: residence base
Blue: historic first information
Orange: 2016-2022 first information
Purple: 2023 first information”

ABA Rare Bird Alert on Facebook: 8 July 2023, Tim Healy

This eBird map reveals the place they’ve been in 2023 up till 16 August. (I’ve marked the Butler County sighting as a pink asterisk.)

eBird map of limpkin sightings in 2023 up until 16 August 2023

Is that this an irruption of limpkins much like the winter irruption of snowy owls? Perhaps…

Younger night-herons usually do an out-of-range dispersal on the finish of the breeding season when first-year birds discover to the north, then head residence or die throughout their journey. Maybe limpkins are doing it, too. Maybe they’ve had a lot breeding success that there are further limpkins to attempt it. (This household of 5 was photographed in Florida in 2014.)

Adult limpkin with 4 young, Winter Haven, Florida, 2014 (photo from Wikimedia Commons)

It’s going to take some analysis to know the reply. The limpkins aren’t saying.

(pictures by Steve Gosser and from Wikimedia Commons, maps from Wikimedia and eBird)

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