The Everglades

Anhinga

 The anhinga is a water bird. It does not have oil glands for waterproofing its feathers like most water birds. When it goes swimming its feathers get wet. This helps it dive and chase fish underwater. However when it is above water, it must spread its wings to dry in the sun. It can fly with wet feathers but not as well.

The adults have beautiful white feathers. The long tail has given the anhinga the nickname, "water turkey". It is also known as the snake-bird because of its snake-like neck. The female anhinga is easy to spot. Her neck and chest feathers are much lighter in color than the male.

The anhinga spears his prey with his pointed beak like an arrow. Sometimes the anhinga's thrust is so powerful that the anhinga has to swim to shore and pry the fish off his beak by rubbing it against a rock.

The anhinga lives in the Slough habitat.

 

Produced by students and
teachers at Avocado Elementary

 Miami Museum of Science

 Museum of Science, Inc./Science Learning Network
 Science Learning Network

 ©1997 Museum of Science, Inc. (Miami, Florida)