We had a back yard visitor on Christmas Day…as usual, I had to run get my camera and telephoto lens to get a shot. This particular critter is called an anhinga.
If you’ve ever seen this bird swimming, you know why it’s also called the snakebird – it swims with its body submerged and, with just its head and curvy neck sticking out of the water, it looks like a snake. Another common name for the anhinga is the water turkey, due to its long tail.
After swimming, it likes to perch and spread out its wings and tail to dry. I could tell this bird was a female anhinga, because her head, neck and breast are buff-colored.
These birds will dive underwater to hunt for food – It’s interesting to watch them come up with a small fish clutched in their beaks and then carefully flip it into position so they can swallow it.
And a last little tidbit of information – the binomial name of this bird is anhinga anhinga, which for some reason just cracks me up…it’s like someone ran out of ideas when they were naming this bird, and just used the same word twice 🙂