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East County Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015 4 years ago

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A five-member limpkin family is nesting in Lakewood Ranch.

A five-member limpkin family is nesting in Lakewood Ranch.

Ranch resident Maria Barringhaus first spotted the three chicks and their parents nearly a month ago. The animal enthusiast hasn't seen other limpkin chicks in the area before.

The birds, which feature long, slender bodies similar to sandhill cranes, are known for their distinctive cry.

Barringhaus named the parents Mamma Lucille and Daddy Desi, and calls the babies O, D and A, because the family built its home on the Out-of-Door Academy's fields, adjacent to the intersection of University Parkway.

So far the birds haven't ruffled the feathers of the Ranch's mascot, because they mostly snack on apple snails rather than plants and small reptiles, which are the crane's favorite snacks.
 

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