Anhinga Photos and InformationI love Anhingas, they are so interesting! They actually fly down into water and swim around after fish. Then they come back up to a tree to dry out! They hold their wings out from their body to allow them to air-dry.
Here's one drying its wings after a swim.
The anhingas go into their mating colors in January and February. Here's one with the glowing blue eyes that signal it's mating time!
Anhingas don't have the oil glands to waterproof their feathers like most birds do, since their swimming all the time would wash the oil off. Because of this, anhingas need to use the tree-drying method to get their feathers back into flying shape.
Anhingas are also special because of their snake-like necks. They can literally spear a fish on the end of their beaks. When they get back on land, they then "flip" the fish up in the air and catch it in their mouth to swallow it. The anhinga can't risk putting the fish down on the ground to eat it, because the fish might flop back into the water and escape.
The other swimming bird, the cormorant, is all black and has a hooked beak instead of a straight, pointy one.
Anhinga Chick and Nest Photos
Cormorant Photos and Information
Encyclopedia of Birds - Descriptions and Photos
Note: I originally wrote this content while I edited the site at birding.bellaonline.com. That site has permission to show my content.
Birding Help Hints Tips and Information