Anhinga

Anhinga anhinga

Order

SULIFORMES

Family

Darters (Anhingidae)

Code 4

ANHI

Code 6

ANHANH

ITIS

Egg Color:

White to pale blue.



Number of Eggs:

2 - 5



Incubation Days:

25 - 29



Egg Incubator:

Both sexes



Nest Location:

In tree.



Nest Material:

Sticks, leaves, and grasses.



Migration:

Most do not migrate



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General

Anhinga: Large, dark waterbird with long tail, snake-like neck, small head, red eyes, and long olive-brown bill. Male is green-black overall with silver-gray feathers appearing speckled and grizzled on upper back and forewings. Female has pale brown breast and neck. May swim with only head and neck above water; often perches with wings outstretched to dry feathers.

Range and Habitat

Anhinga: Breeds near Atlantic and Gulf coasts from North Carolina to Texas, in Florida, and in Mississippi Valley north to southern Missouri, Illinois, and Kentucky. Spends winters along the Gulf Coast north to South Carolina. Also occurs in tropical America. Preferred habitats include freshwater and coastal water bodies with thick vegetation and large trees, which it uses for roosting and nesting.

Breeding and Nesting

Anhinga: Two to five white to pale blue eggs are laid in a loose nest made of sticks and lined with grass and leaves. Incubation ranges from 25 to 29 days and is carried out by both parents.

Foraging and Feeding

Anhinga: Feeds primarily on fish; also eats aquatic invertebrates. Targets slower-moving species of fish and stalks them underwater, striking snake-like with long neck and spearing prey with pointed bill. Prey is eaten above water after tossing it off the bill and positioning it for swallowing headfirst.

Vocalization

Anhinga: Mostly silent, but makes low grunts similar to that of cormorants. When quarreling, makes a distinct, rapid clicking sound, "guk-guk-guk-guk-guk."

Similar Species

Anhinga: Neotropic Cormorant has yellow face and throat, shorter neck, and hooked bill. Double-crested Cormorant is larger with yellow throat patch, shorter neck, and hooked bill.

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BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X