Anhinga



[Adult female anhinga drying her feathers]


Here is an adult female Anhinga, a bird which is a unique water bird in that it cannot fly when wet. The anhinga has no water-proofing oil on its feathers and they get heavy when wet, after diving or swimming around at neutral buoyancy, catching fish. Then they sit in the sun and dry out their feathers before they can fly again. (They can soar like eagles when dry.)

Sitting in the tree is a juvenile anhinga. Take a look at its long, flat, cobra-like neck. These birds are known as "snake birds", because once they dive in and get wet, if they stay in the water, swimming to stab some food or get to dry ground, only their very thin neck and eyes appear above water like the Loch Ness monster.

[Juvenile anhinga in tree]



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This page last updated: Sunday, 03-May-2015 15:57:43 CDT

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