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Date: 17 November 2015. Anhingas.

Anhingas are a type of water fowl. Several of them live in the mangroves right behind Seaweed. They are noisy. According to Birds of North America they are found primarily along the Gulf coast and eastern seaboard of the United States. I like them, most of the time.



Anhinga hide in trees. Sometimes you'll see them sitting on top of a channel marker with their wings spread out to dry. The girls are a lighter shade of brown. The boys are much darker.


If you look carefully there is a male anhinga in this photo:

He is in the center of the mangroves looking to the right.


Mangroves are a type of tree that grows in the water. Their roots protect and shelter smaller fish. There is always life around mangroves. The manatees come too. A pair visited just a week or so ago.
 

Meet Vicky

More about Vicky and Finnegan in an upcoming article...


Anhingas look very similar to cormorants. The way I tell the difference is this: Anhingas have a sharp pointed beak much like the capital letter A. Cormorants have a hooked beak that is more rounded.



Anhinga beaks are pointed like the capital letter A.
 

These water fowl are known by a variety of nicknames. Keith Wolfe, an IT guy I know, wrote this: While my mom and dad were living in Florida a few years back they nicknamed the anhinga and called it a "snake bird". This was, they said, because sometimes they float so low in the water all you can see is their long curvy necks. From a distance, they look like a snake standing vertically on the water.

The anhinga does resemble a snake swimming through the water. The Birds of North America book has an illustration of the bird with just the head and neck out of the water. Anhingas are not like ducks that float on the water.

When I was a Kidlet we called both anhinga and cormorants water turkeys. I'm not quite sure why, but there you have it.
 


The above photo shows a girl. She's got a lighter chest and head than the male of the species. I think she's very pretty.

The anhinga colony does tend to be noisy. Fortunately after making a ruckus they do quiet down at night. If you want to know where they spend their nights take your dinghy along a shoreline. Look for white in the lower branches of trees. That's poop. Above that white guano at night you'll find the birds.

Where anhingas reside you can bet nearby fishing is great.

That's it for today. Life is good on Seaweed.
 

 

Addendum. 21 November 2015. As I was going through some photos today I spotted this one. Either a cormorant or anhinga is flying across just a couple feet above the river. You can see the webbed feet hanging. Pelicans in flight tuck their feet up into their belly. J.

 

 


Have you another nickname for anhingas or cormorants?
And have you ever tamed one by feeding it fish?

COMMENTS:
 

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