Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Snake Bird

This Anhinga a.k.a. the Snake Bird, snapped by Kurt, is fascinating to me. It is a water bird related to a Cormorant. The Anhinga's feathers are not waterproofed by oils, and so can get waterlogged, causing the bird to become barely buoyant. However, this allows it to dive easily and search for fish under the water. It can stay down for significant periods. It has to spread it's wings to dry in between fishing expeditions. When it's in the water with body submerged, the long neck and head looks like a water snake (I don't know what biological advantage there might be in looking like a snake rather than a bird.) It scoops up fish with it's beak and pouch kind of like a Pelican. A bird of southern swamps, the Anhinga is also known as the Water-Turkey. Tastes like chicken?

No comments: