Florida Birds – Anhinga

 

Anhinga (female)
Anhinga (female)

 

Anhinga (male)

Anhinga (male)

Anhinga swallowing fish

Anhinga swallowing fish

I had the opportunity to see some Anhinga’s  the past few weeks not far from where I live and get pictures of them with their distinctive webbed feet, colorful white and black feathers and method of eating fish.  The first picture shows the Anhinga standing on some pipes of a storm water drain waiting for a meal to drift by. You can see their impressive webbed feet which makes them such good swimmers. They can also fly long distances without flapping their wings. The female bird has a brownish neck whereas the male bird in the 2nd and 3rd pictures has a black neck. The Anhinga spears their prey with their bill and swallows them whole. The 2nd and 3rd pictures shows the bird maneuvering a fish it just caught, about 6-7 inches long, into it’s mouth. Anhinga’s are often seen standing with their wings outstretched in the sun because their wings become saturated with water and do not have the oil glands like other birds to keep their feathers dry. I have a another post in this blog showing an Anhinga in this kind of spread wing display. Visit the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, All About Birds to learn more about Anhinga’s. There is an audio clip where you can listen to their sounds.

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2 thoughts on “Florida Birds – Anhinga

  1. Kyle

    Interesting captures and blog! I initially noticed your “anhinga vs fish” shot here. That looks like a big fish (do you know what kind?) staring down its captor’s throat! So could the bird rally manage to win the struggle and gulp that whole thing down entirely okay??

    Does the prey put up a good fight, if eaten, does the unlucky fish get swallowed wriggling all the way as well?!

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Thanks for visiting my blog and website. I do not know what kind of fish the Anhinga was eating but yes it was big and the Anhinga did swallow it in one gulp.

      Reply

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