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Wetland bird makes unusual appearance at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge

Folks received an unbelievable sighting of a limpkin in Ohio on Saturday.
Credit: Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge

OAK HARBOR, Ohio — Those that visit the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge can sit and watch the various animals that come through northwest Ohio year round. But, visitors on Saturday saw a bird that is not exactly typical in Ohio, especially in the cool month of November. 

A limpkin is a bird native to the Everglades due to warmth and ample food supply. The chance to catch a glimpse of a bird like this in Ohio — especially in the cold and snow — is extremely rare.

The limpkin is brown and white, resembling the look of a young night-heron. It typically eats apple snail, eating anytime day or night. These birds also have a very distinguished "haunting cry" that are mainly heard at night and can be unforgettable to those that are not used to hearing its sound. 

The bird was visible from the Trail Head Parking Lot at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge. It was spotted at about 11:45 a.m. along the west side of the parking lot, and from 12:15 - 12:30 p.m. it was seen on the north side of the parking lot just inside of the tree line.

You can see the limpkin on video by following these simple steps: 

  • Log onto facebook
  • Follow @friendsofattawanwr
  • Watch the video of the limpkin hunting snails through the ice.

Visitors are encouraged to come see the bird at the Ottawa Refuge. Those willing to try and spot it can always warm up in the Visitor Center.

The Visitor Center is open everyday 9 p.m. to 4 p.m.

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