New Louisiana Bird Wails Like A Banshee But Eats Pest, Saving Crops

"Screechy, gangly bird gorges on invasive apple snails, helping wetlands and crawfish farms".

"It's not a colorful or elegant bird, nor does it sing anything that could be described as pleasant. Its feathers are drab. Its beak droopy, and its long-legged gait is so gimpy that it was cursed with one of the most disparaging names in all of birddom: the limpkin.

And yet the limpkin’s first appearance in Louisiana a few years ago was cause for celebration. That’s because this gangly, shrieking bird from Florida is the mortal enemy of a foreign snail that’s been wreaking havoc in Louisiana’s farms and wetlands.

“It was surprising and wondrous when it emerged,” said Delaina LeBlanc, the migratory bird coordinator for the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program. “They’re very exciting because they’re a bio-control for an invasive species that’s been causing a lot of problems here.”"

Tristan Baurick reports for the New Orleans Times-Picayune April 7, 2024.

Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune, 04/12/2024