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Anhingas - male & female
26-FEB-2017

Anhingas - male & female

Venice Rookery, Florida

Scientific name: Anhinga anhinga

The anhinga, sometimes called snakebird, darter, American darter, or water turkey, is a water bird of the warmer parts of the Americas. When swimming the origin of the name snakebird is apparent: only the colored neck appears above water so the bird looks like a snake ready to strike.

In order to dive and search for underwater prey, including fish and amphibians, the anhinga does not have waterproof feathers, (unlike ducks, which coat their feathers with oil from their uropygial gland). Because the anhinga is thus barely buoyant, it can stay below the surface more easily and for longer periods of time.

If it attempts to fly while its wings are wet, the anhinga has difficulty, flapping vigorously while "running" on the water. As do cormorants when drying their feathers, the anhinga will stand with wings spread and feathers fanned open in a semicircular shape, resembling a male meleagrine, which led to the anhinga being referred to colloquially as the "water turkey."
Anhinga will often search for food in small groups.

Click for more information on this species at Wikipedia
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