Anhinga – Female

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Anhinga

Anhinga anhinga

Range/Geographical Distribution: Southeast United States south to Argentina

Habitat: Lives and breeds near shallow, slow-moving bodies of freshwater.

Similar Species:  Double-crested cormorant.

Description:  A large, dark water bird with a long neck, silver wings, a long tail, and a pointed bill.  Males are black-bodied and females have a buff neck and breast. Juveniles are brownish.

Size: Length:  29-37” Wingspan:  43” Weight: 1325-1350g

Food: Swims under water and spears fish, also will consume small crustaceans and other invertebrates.

Breeding:  Nests in colonies with other water birds such as ibis, storks, and egrets.  Lays pale bluish eggs on a bulky platform of sticks.

Predators:  Alligators, crocodiles, ravens, and hawks.

Conservation Status: The anhinga is listed as least concern by IUCN but is threatened by entanglement in fishing line.

Interesting Facts:  The anhinga may be seen soaring overhead without flapping its wings, much like a turkey vulture, and can travel long distances like this.

On the Coast:  Anhingas can be found along the Georgia Coast near freshwater.  They often perch above the water with their wings outstretched, drying.

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