October 2020. The Creoles of Louisiana call the anhinga "Bec a Lancette," due to its pointed bill. Anhinga: Large, dark waterbird with long tail, snake-like neck, small head, red eyes, and long olive-brown bill. The vertebrates are so beautifully designed, that it allows them to attack and stab strongly with the help of their beak. Over time, excrement can build up on the outer rim of the nest giving it a white appearance. The nest is a bulky platform of sticks, somewhat more compact than heron nests. Anhingas often use thermals for soaring, and may achieve altitudes of several thousand feet. The Sibley Guide to Birds, second edition. They usually stab with both mandibles, but may use the upper mandible only on small fish. Anhingas typically spear fish through their sides with a rapid thrust of their partially opened bill. Version 2016.1. The feathers are dark, sometimes green with silvery markings. One can get these species in the regions of South America, South Eastern United States and some places in Argentina. They spread their tail and feathers in a semicircular formation to dry them up when on land. The male begins nest construction before he has a mate, by placing large sticks and green material in the forks of trees. Weight of Anhinga: The weight of these species is somewhat about 1.22 kgs Wingspan of Anhinga: The wingspan is about 3.7 feet in size. The anhinga sheds its flight feathers all at once, which makes it unable to fly for a while. The name has actually been deciphered from the Tupi language of Brazil, meaning devil bird. The male counterparts urge to collect raw materials like leaves, twigs, catkins and willows to make the nest while the females take up the creative task of actually making up the nest. Written By: Grand Strand Magazine Staff. Get Instant ID help for 650+ North American birds. Length of Anhinga: Their body length varies somewhere around 89 cm. When at the surface, it tends to swim low in the water, often with only the neck and head above the water, and sometimes with only the bill exposed. It is often lined with fresh leaves, green twigs, willow leaves, and catkins. Anhingas are usually quiet birds, but they do make vocalizations, consisting of clicks, rattles, grunts and croaks. AKA snakebird and water turkey. Often solitary when feeding, it roosts in groups and nests in colonies. After every dip, it strikes a regal pose on the edges of shallow lakes and ponds, with its silvery wings outstretched and head held high to dry its waterlogged feathers. Sibley, D. A. Color of Anhinga: These species are silverfish white with dots on the upper portion of the wings and body. These species prefer to move from one place to another for warmer habitat. Their body has water absorbent feather that allows smooth diving, a unique adaptive feature that is rare in birds. The eyes are pink surrounded by green skin. These birds like chasing behind their prey for about several hours. The side-spearing habit of the Anhinga suggests that the usual hunting method is by stalking rather than pursuit. These species prefer to hunt inside water either by swimming or by diving. Wings and tail may be bluish black. It swims slowly underwater, stalking fish around submerged vegetation. Additionally, they can also be found in warmer locations in North America. Potential threats to Anhingas include wetland which may reduce available habitat for Anhinga. Link (2017). (2000). Based on the population size, distribution, threats, and population trends, the species rates a 9 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score. These species mostly eat fishes but also prefer crustaceans, tadpoles, water snakes, and small alligators. The Anhinga typically nests in loose groups of several to hundreds of pairs, and sometimes with other colonial waterbirds. The Anhinga is also an adept soarer. A dark body stealthily swims through a lake with only a snakelike head poking above the surface. The Cornell Lab will send you updates about birds, birding, and opportunities to help bird conservation. Lutmerding, J. Often seen perched on a snag above the water, with its wings half-spread to dry. However, in USA, they have been protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (1918). 5. By Ana Krneta on April 25 2017 in Environment. It swims with only its head held out of the water. Anhinga Facts: Animals of North America. 7 Fun Facts About the Amazing Anhinga . Conspicuously pointed at one end, pale bluish green, and overlaid with a chalky coating. The Anhinga may also breed in saltwater colonies and feed in freshwater. They usually stalk their food and attack by spearing their prey with the sharp beak. They usually bring out the neck out from water during swimming. These species are called snakebirds due to their long neck that looks a bit snakelike. In Southern Florida, this bird is called the "Grecian Lady." Anhinga, also known as the devil bird or the birds of dark water is a native of warmer regions of America. Avian Conservation Assessment Database. Generally not found in extensive areas of open water, though it may nest on edges of open bays and lakes. Other names that they have are Darter, Water Turkey, and American Darter. Discarded fishing lines also pose a threat because the birds can easily get tangled up in them. Can vary its buoyancy in water, sometimes swimming with only head and neck above water (earning it the nickname of "Snakebird"). Partners in Flight estimates the global breeding population at 83,000 individuals. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). It is not on the Partners in Flight Watch List and is a species of low conservation concern. The Anhinga name is derived from the Tupi language words for "snake bird", because of its snake-like appearance when swimming. Required fields are marked *. Short Tailed Albatross: Facts, Characteristics, Habitat and More, Cuban Tree Frog: Facts, Characteristics, Habitat and More. The anhinga is also called water turkey, snake bird, or darter. Characteristics of Anhinga. The Anhinga swims lower in the water than many other birds due to its reduced buoyancy-a result of wetted plumage and dense bones. Temperature and warm sunshine generally determines the migration. The best available estimate of their population comes from the North American Breeding Bird Survey and Partners in Flight. The male collects nearly all the nesting material, and the female then finishes building. The anhinga is a big bird, about 3 feet long from the tip of its beak to the tip of its tail. Often soars like a raptor. Breeds in association with other waterbirds such as herons, egrets, ibises, storks, and cormorants. While soaring, it holds its wings flat and straight, its neck outstretched or held with a slight kink; its long, straight tail is conspicuous.