The tail of the anhinga is wider and much longer than that of the cormorant. The anhinga (/ænˈhɪŋɡə/; Anhinga anhinga), sometimes called snakebird, darter, American darter, or water turkey, is a water bird of the warmer parts of the Americas. Beautiful shots, Donna! Punk rocker bird. When swimming the origin of the name snakebird is apparent: only the colored neck appears above water so the bird looks like a snake ready to strike. Anhinga. Change ). One of my favorite birds to photograph! Anhingas feed on moderately sized wetland fishes. They each have their own striking feathers and are quite beautiful when displaying them.  Although not in their usual range, anhingas have been found as far north as the states of Pennsylvania and Wisconsin in the United States. Once they locate their prey, they partly open their bill and stab the fish swiftly. Thank you, Imorgana! Learn how your comment data is processed. The adults back feather patterns just stuns! Males have greenish-black plumage overall, accentuated by silver-gray feathers on the upper back and wings that are edged with long white plumes. Sign in Sign up for FREE Prices and download plans Their dense bones, wetted plumage and neutral buoyancy in water, allows them to fully submerge and search for underwater prey.. ( Log Out / , I really like your blog. The male is a glossy black-green with the wings, base of wings, and tail a glossy black-blue. The photographs and text herein are the property of Donna Wadsley and may not be reproduced, displayed, modified, or distributed without express, prior, written permission of the copyright holder. Spears fish with pointed beak, then brings catch to surface and jerks the fish off its bill – swallows fish head first. Want to email me?  The A. a. anhinga subspecies is larger than A. a. leucogaster and has "broader buffy tail lips". Adult male Anhingas are black with silvery to white streaks on the back and wings. As part of their courtship ritual, the male will soar high and glide in display for the female, and he will take nesting material to her for her to construct the nest with. Like cormorants, the anhinga stands with wings spread and feathers fanned open in a semicircular shape to dry its feathers and absorb heat. Once the pair is formed, the male gathers nesting material, while the female builds a platform nest, which is usually on a branch overhanging water or in open areas in the tops of trees. , Excellent photos, Donna. Displaying pair . Nests are built with sticks, twigs and drift material on the ground or in trees close to the water. 143,209 visits. Immatures of both sexes look like the female so many times can be confusing on which they are. , Male drying its feathers and warming its body, Florida, US, Frederick, P. C. and D. Siegel-Causey (2000). Awesome. They’re often called snake birds because of their long neck and skinny head sticking out of the water while their body is submerged. Females and immatures have a pale tan head, neck, and breast. Prior to copulation, both produce several explosive notes. Amazing photos, Donna. ( Log Out / Anhinga. They face away from the sun to dry their feathers. A dark body stealthily swims through a lake with only a snakelike head poking above the surface. The female uses the materials the male gathers to build a platform nest in a tree. The females have usually duller appearance with pale underparts like the Australian Darter (Anhinga novaehollandiae) or mostly chestnut to brown head, neck and upper breast like the three other species. Displaying pair . Therefore, they cannot stay floating on water for long periods of time. The structure is a bulky stick platform lined with greenery, often leaves and green twigs.
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