Uncharacteristic Weather Brings Rare Bird to Colorado
From the tiniest feathered fledglings to the biggest birds of prey, Colorado is home to more than 400 different species of birds. Some avian species are more commonly seen than others, so it can be extra exciting when a rare bird is spotted in the state.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife recently shared photos of an unexpected visitor that showed up in Ramah State Wildlife Area near Colorado Springs. Last weekend, birdwatchers were surprised to see a lone limpkin bird who had made its way to Colorado - a place quite far from home for this typical tropical dweller.
Limpkins usually live in wetlands in places such as Florida, Guatemala, and Brazil. While they are not classified as migratory birds, individual limpkins are occasionally found far from their typical range. This often happens during times of drought.
In this case, Colroado's recent heavy rains are responsible for bringing this wayward limpkin to the state. The constant downpours have transformed Ramah into a much swampier habitat, which is perfect for not just limpkins but other wetland wildlife species, as well.
According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, these gangly brown and white birds are closely related to cranes. They enjoy snacking on snails and have beaks that are uniquely adapted for foraging for their favorite food.