AskDefine | Define courlan

Dictionary Definition

courlan n : wading bird of South America and Central America [syn: Aramus guarauna]

Extensive Definition

The Limpkin (common names: carrao, courlan, crying bird), Aramus guarauna, is a bird that looks like a large rail, but is skeletally closer to cranes. It is found in marshes with some trees or scrub in the Caribbean, Central America and southern Florida. Its name derives from the seeming limp of the Limpkin when it walks.
The Limpkin is a somewhat large bird, 66 cm (26in) long, with a wingspan of about 100 cm (39in). Plumage is drab, olive-brown with a light-gray head and neck. White markings cover most feathers, especially on the wing and back. It has long legs and neck, and a long, yellowish bill. Adults are often confused with immature White Ibis.
Limpkins forage primarily in shallow water, and on floating vegetation such as water hyacinth and water lettuce. In this habitat it feeds on small aquatic life, principally the apple snail. The availability of this one mollusk has a significant effect on the local distribution of the Limpkin.
This unobtrusive bird nests on the ground or in dense floating vegetation, laying an average of six eggs.
The male Limpkin has a loud wailing territorial call.
This species is related to the cranes, but is placed in its own family.


External links

courlan in German: Rallenkranich
courlan in Spanish: Aramus guarauna
courlan in French: Aramidae
courlan in Italian: Aramus guarauna
courlan in Lithuanian: Arama
courlan in Hungarian: Óriásguvat
courlan in Dutch: Koerlan
courlan in Japanese: ツルモドキ
courlan in Polish: Bekaśnica
courlan in Portuguese: Carão
courlan in Russian: Арама (птица)
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