Anhinga fish under water and often bring their catch to the surface and eat while they are swimming, flipping the fish around and swallowing it head first. This fellow may have tried that before climbing onto the alligator ramp.
He was having trouble dislodging the fish from his beak.
The ramp seemed like a convenient tool to work the fish free.
Or so he thought.
I missed the resolution this time. More than once I’ve seen the fish drop over the side after all that hard work.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There may be more to come in this nest as the eggs may hatch over several days.
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.