Tuesday, January 15, 2013

American Anhinga

 The American anhinga is a water bird that is found along the Gulf Coast, Mexico, Central America and much of South America. Their name "Anhinga" means "snake bird" in the Brazilian Tupi language. This is an apt name because anhinga swim low in the water. Often it is only their head and neck showing above the water which can look like a snake. The reason that they swim this way is because they do not produce oils that help waterproof their feathers the way that most other water fowl do. As they swim their feathers become water logged which makes them less buoyant so they sink further down into the water. This lack of buoyancy does help them dive further under the water when hunting. the anhinga's primary food is fish which it usually spears through the side with its long pointed beak. Eventually anhinga's need to dry their feathers. They do this by sitting in the sun with their wings outstretched.



18 comments:

Carol L McKenna said...

Wonderful photography and very informative post ~

(A Creative Harbor)

Jennifer said...

http://blissfulyogajourney.blogspot.com/2013/01/3-in-row.html

Here's mine

LOVE the info on yours and photo!

Roger Owen Green said...

lovely shot

ROG, ABC Wednesday team

HansHB said...

Great WBW post!

mick said...

Great photo of the Anhinga

Findlay Wilde said...

Lovely photo of the Anhinga, what a wonderful bird. From Findlay

photowannabe said...

Its interesting how some birds get their names. Fascinating they do not have the oils to keep them bouyant when they are fish eaters.

Leslie: said...

Wow! Fascinating info on this bird. Great shot.

Leslie
abcw team

richies said...

I occasionally see an anhinga at a local lake. I have mistaken them for snakes before.


An Arkies Musings



Carole M. said...

..interesting to see; seeming like it has blue on the end of its beak. Similar to the cormorant it looks to be too

Karen said...

What an interesting looking bird.

Norma Ruttan said...

wonderfully unusual looking bird!

Linda said...

Is this the bird that spreads his wings and just remains in that position while his wings dry? Wonderful photo.

Linda said...

Is this the bird that spreads his wings and just remains in that position while his wings dry? Wonderful photo.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

What a fabulous bird!

SRQ said...

Nice capture. I see plenty of anhingas here in Florida and never get tired of them. I just love it when they dry their wings.

Gemma Wiseman said...

Amazing, "elongated" bird! Quite a proud pose in this photo!

Stewart M said...

Great looking bird - I'm going to have to find out if it is a different species to ours.

Thanks for linking to WBW.

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne.

PS: sorry for slow reply - I've been out of internet range in Tasmania