Tuesday, August 4, 2015

An Ultra-Rarity From Lake Norman

Many Florida residents visit North Carolina during the summer months. Until recently that referred to humans only, but birders statewide are enjoying another visitor from the Sunshine State in the upper reaches of Lake Norman.

A limpkin, a large unique wader common only in Florida and southeastern Georgia has been hanging out and foraging on mudflats in the Catawba County portion of the lake. There are only four previous records of limpkin from North Carolina, all from the coastal plain. Therefore this is the first record of the species from the Piedmont

Birders have been coming from all over to add this limpkin to their NC State List, and with good reason…the last time a limpkin showed up in the state was 1998.

For now the bird is content with its mudflat under a railroad trestle spanning the lake. Currently it is accessible only by canoe, boat, or kayak. But birds move around. When it decides to move it could show up anywhere in the area. 

Here are some photos of the limpkin taken by Lori Owenby. Note the long legs and brown plumage flecked with white. The pattern is similar to that of immature night-herons, but the limpkin has longer legs and a longer, thinner bill.
Limpkin by Lori Owenby

Limpkin by Lori Owenby

Limpkin by Lori Owenby


Becca Alley said...

I put my pictures of the Limpkin on my blog, floweralley.wordpress.com

I was so excited to get it's true identity.

These were taken at Long Island on Lake Norman near marker 25.