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Tropical bird spotted for first time in Pennsylvania

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CLAY TOWNSHIP, Pa. (KDKA) -- A tropical bird was spotted in Pennsylvania for the first time. 

The Pennsylvania Game Commission said a limpkin, which is mostly found in Florida, the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico and most of South America, was seen in the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area in Lancaster County.

It's the first recorded sighting of a limpkin in the state, the Game Commission said. 

Recently, a limpkin, a tropical bird that is mostly found in Florida, Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico, and most of South...

Posted by Pennsylvania Game Commission on Wednesday, July 12, 2023

The Lancaster County Bird Club said on Facebook the limpkin now breeds in states surrounding Florida as well as South Carolina. It also follows the food. The bird club said the "rapid expansion" of invasive snails in our waterways gives it plenty to eat.  

In a Facebook comment, the Game Commission said limpkins primarily feed on snails, insects, mussels and worms. 

"With the water levels intentionally being lowered using the impoundments at Middle Creek WMA, mud flats are being exposed, allowing many shorebirds, like yellowlegs, sandpipers, and even limpkin, to forage in the shallows, mud, and semi-aquatic vegetation," the comment read. 

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