Tag Archives: Anhinga

Little Blue Heron Over My Head

I was standing at the edge of a small pond when this Little Blue Heron landed in a tree above me. Surprisingly he stayed put even though several other folks walked underneath him, most without even noticing him.

Little Blue Heron
Little Blue Heron

With breeding season over the wading birds tend to ignore each other but this one had his eye on something, and was chatting about it.

Little Blue Heron
Little Blue Heron

Hmm, a big stare. I could hear an Anhinga also doing a bit of bird chat, too. I never expected it would be up even higher than the Little Blue, where he continued to stare.

Little Blue Heron
Little Blue Heron

When I moved on I finally spotted the Anghinga in the highest available spot looking out over a pond behind where the Little Blue Heron stood.

Anhinga
Anhinga at Tree Top

Anhinga in Pine Tree

Just after the Juvenile Little Blue Heron flew off I realized he wasn’t alone in the trees above me.

Anhinga Overhead
Anhinga Overhead

This Anhinga was having a look around.

Anhinga Overhead
Anhinga Overhead

These views from underneath show off how sharp the Anhinga’s bill is, perfectly shaped for the way they spear fish under water.

Anhinga Overhead
Anhinga Overhead

After I passed by I turned for another image and a look at those amazing webbed feet, which you can see better if you zoom in.

Anhinga Overhead
Anhinga Overhead

New Anhinga Chick

A few wading bird pairs are just now hatching young even as some of the older chicks have fledged. I saw just one tiny chick underneath this female nesting Anhinga–you can just see the head at the lower left of the adult. Some of the other broods this year have had four chicks.

Female Anhinga and Chick
Female Anhinga and new Chick, Older chick behind

There may be more to come in this nest as the eggs may hatch over several days.

Female Anhinga and Chick
Female Anhinga and Chick

Anhingas feed their young by regurgitating food which the chicks actively retrieve by sticking their heads up the parent’s esophagus. Painful looking, especially when the chicks get bigger.

Female Anhinga and Chick
Female Anhinga and Chick – Feeding Time

Click on images for larger view.

Anhinga Ready to Go!

The male Anhingas have been showing off as they get ready for breeding season. The blue-green coloration around their eyes is very pronounced and I’ve seen them displaying their wings in dramatic poses.

Anhinga Ready to Fly
Anhinga Ready to Fly

This male was in a tree above the pond-side trail flashing his wings. I didn’t see any females nearby and he soon took off with a flourish.

Anhinga In Flight
Anhinga In Flight

He didn’t go far, landing in a nearby tree that already has a Great Blue Heron nest and several Great Egret nests.

Anhinga In Flight
Anhinga In Landing Below Great Egret Nest

March 10, 2019

Anhinga Just Out of the Water

I caught this Anhinga as he was climbing out of the water onto an Alligator ramp. This waterway is a canal along the edge of an old rice field impoundment that attracts many fish eating birds.

Anhinga
Anhinga

Anhingas feathers are not waterproof which helps them to swim and hunt low in the water but also means they have to leave the water to dry off.

Anhinga
Anhinga

You can see the gular pouch extending below. Similar to a pelican’s pouch, this skin between the beak and neck helps the bird “open wide” and swallow much larger fish than you might expect.

Anhinga
Anhinga

I haven’t seen an Anhinga do this while drying off and am not sure what he was up to. I waited awhile to see, but like many of the water birds these fellows can spend a long time doing nothing and I lose interest or get distracted by something more interesting.

Anhinga
Anhinga

Fall Colors

There is a touch of fall color in the “skinny tree” which earlier this year hosted one Great Blue Heron  and several Great Egret families. Now the tree serves as an occasional landing spot for a passing bird.

Anhinga Drying in Sun
Anhinga Drying in Sun

This Anhinga chose it as a drying off spot and executed a smooth landing.

Anhinga Drying in Sun
Anhinga Drying in Sun

He then turned his back to the sun and spread his wings to dry off.

Anhinga Drying in Sun
Anhinga Drying in Sun

Do Birds Play Chicken?

Alligators follow their instincts when they hear a splash in the water…lets go check it out.

An Anhinga had jumped into the pond and was swimming with his head up. First one then two  Alligators were in hot pursuit.

Alligator and Anhinga
Two Alligators

I was too far away to really see what was happening. In fact I probably shouldn’t have bothered with these images with the glare on the water, but it was like watching a train wreck. I’m not sure if this churning of the water was the two Alligators having a spat or if the bird had ducked under and the gators lunged.

Alligator and Anhinga
Alligator with eyes reflecting in the water

The Alligators backed away a bit then the Anhinga popped up between them then leisurely swam along as if he were alone. A minute or two later they all lost interest and went their separate ways.

Alligator and Anhinga
Alligator and Anhinga

Click on images for larger view.