Monday, February 3, 2014

Anhingas in Florida

In yesterdays post I mentioned the anhinga.  These are incredible birds and so unique.  They are a large species of about 34- 36" tall and they love to frequent the southern swamps, just like me....except I'm taller.

It is also known as the "snake bird" because when its body is submerged while swimming with only its long neck and head showing, it appears to be a snake.  The following photo shows this bird with the wings down and you can get a glimpse of its snake like body.

But I like seeing them with the wings open
 as if ready for flight.

Mealtime consists of fish which it catches in its long dagger-like serrated bill.  It flips the fish in the air, catching it headfirst and gulps it down.  Actually, it's not that different than watching Left Brain at an all-you-can-eat buffet.

You'll often see this bird perched with its wings spread open.  This is because they lack oil glands with which to preen and so much keep their wings half open to dry them in the sun.

And now you know more about this magnificent creature.

Long Live the Queen of the Swamp


  1. My daughter and I argue about this bird's name, because she has them on her lagoon in South Carolina. They are pretty awesome!

  2. Hmmm ... The Queen of the Swamp married to the King of the All-you-can-eat buffet. Sounds very interesting. You do lead an exciting life Swamp Queen. These pictures are wonderful of the Anhinga. My parents had them on their little lake when they lived down there ... very cool bird. Your pictures from yesterday are great too ... you are getting to be quite the photographer. And bike riding, how cool ... only in Florida could you do that as easily. Up here some towns have bike trails and some don't, so it is hard to get anywhere especially with the traffic. So I am doomed to the boring trek on the exercise bike in the house, ugh! I like your version much better. Great posts Queen of Travelogues.

  3. i'm having trouble getting your blog to load up - spins and spins for a while, then resets, eating my comment. *sigh*

    anyway, lovely bird and shots! great reflection, too. i've seen cormorants here on our pond but never an anhinga.

  4. Never the less a queen eh?
    Thanks for a very informative blog. Nice pics too.

  5. I love this bird. But I find swamps fascinating. It is great that you are biking and taking photos. Your pictures are great!

  6. I was never much into birding until our month in Rockport. Now I'm truly fascinated. You did a beautiful job capturing this unique beauty.

  7. These are wonderful photos of the anhinga. What a gorgeous bird! I never had the opportunity to see any of them while I was in Fla. Maybe this year I'll get lucky. I'm really enjoying your photos, so keep 'em coming. I'm traveling the swamps through your lens. Now I have to get ready to go out and do an errand. You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.