Anhinga – Florida Bird

The anhinga is fascinating because, unlike other birds that dive to catch their dinner, the anhinga’s feathers don’t shed water. They are able to stay under water longer and when they swim, their body is submerged. Because their long thin neck and skinny head stick out of the water, it is also called a snakebird. I had read about them so I knew immediately what it was when I saw the “snake head” sticking out of the water at the Venice Rookery.

The first shot I was able to take was right after it surfaced to dry its feathers. It was sleek, and very wet.

Rookery 162

The anhinga spent a long time preening and drying its feathers.

Rookery 200 Rookery 202This is a male, as the female has a buff colored breast and a “salt & pepper” colored head and upper neck. I had previously posted the following picture with the great blue heron, wondering if they were youth. I now think they are anhinga females.

Rookery 272

They frequently nest with heron and egrets, which is probably why I saw this anhinga at the rookery when there were so much nesting going on. I previously posted a black and white photograph of the anhinga. You can see the heron here and here, and the egret here.


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