I had read about baby Limpkins at Lake Morton, and when I was walking around the lake on Saturday morning, I kept my eyes and ears open. Often I hear babies before I see them. Then I ran into my friend Jane, and she told me exactly where to find them. Woo hoo! They were clustered in a clump of bushes, taking refuge from the chaos of a bread-fest that a little girl was sharing with the ducks. I counted one, two, three, maybe four baby Limpkins in the bushes. I got some really bad shots with lots of grass in the way, then settled down to wait, hoping that the little ones would venture out once the chaos subsided. As often happens, I was rewarded for my patience…and then my jaw dropped as I counted SEVEN babies come out in the open!
I thought it was great how the Mallards and White Ibises would wander back and forth in the tall grasses. The Limpkins didn’t seem to mind the “outsiders” coming close to the babies. At one point, the babies seemed to be playing with each other. I caught these two doing a hop-skip-jump as they ran toward the Mallard. The Mallard didn’t chuckle, but I sure did!
Mom and Dad brought in several apple snails for their little Limpkin babies. Their little calls went up in volume and intensity as they danced and watched to see which lucky baby would get the next bite. Then Mom and Dad came out into the open and let me capture a few quick images.
This little baby pulled some dried leaves out of the ground, then paraded around with it for several minutes. When his brother tried to steal it, he ran! I thought this was such a cute image with his puny little wings spread, showing off those blue pin feathers.
Mom and Dad really surprised me with what they did next. They walked off down the lake, taking two of the stronger babies with them. The other five were left out in the open with no one to watch over them. I couldn’t tell if this bothered them. They stood in a small group, calling back and forth to each other, like they’d been doing all morning.
For a few minutes I tagged along with Mom and Dad, fussing at them to go back and get their other chicks. The parents led the two babies into a patch with lots of vegetation, where the photo ops weren’t that great. So I headed back to the clump of babies, where I got some great shots of the babies out by themselves.
When the five baby Limpkins started to squabble amongst themselves, one of the parents flew over and rounded them up. This time when Mom started walking away, all five babies followed. The last shot I got was of them walking away…