Here is an adult female anhinga. This is a unique water bird in that it has no water-proofing oil on its feathers so 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 easily fly again. They can soar like eagles when dry, powerful fliers as well as swimmers.
Sitting in the tree below is a juvenile male 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 a periscope, or the Loch Ness monster.
Below is an adult breeding male, resembling piano keys in appearance, jet black and white "keys". The female (top photo) has a brown neck and head, and a smaller black/white pattern near the shoulders. They may become much darker in breeding season.
Photography by Fenichel © 1996-2021 Michael Fenichel
This page last updated: Friday, 16-Apr-2021 02:52:57 EDT