Sunday, February 5, 2012

Interesting Fact: Limpkin

Did you know? . . . that the 10th primary of a Limpkin is about 4 inches shorter than its longest primary?  The 10th primary is the outermost primary; the primaries are counted from the inside out.  This feather is also curved but only in 2nd year and older birds.  The juvenile birds show a straight 10th primary.  It is unknown why this would be the case; one possible explanation is that the 10th primary is used in some sort of mating display that first year birds don't go through.  This changing shape of the feather in different age groups also gives observers a chance to age birds but it is quite difficult to see especially when the bird is perched.

To see some pictures go to:  http://www.birdingisfun.com/2011/11/big-brown-bird-with-sharp-tongue-and.html
There are a few pictures of Limpkins in flight that the primary can be clearly seen.

-Eric

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