Hi, I am an Anhinga. Many will call me the snake bird because when you see us swimming you think I am a snake. I am submerged in the water and just my long, thin head and neck is seen above the water. We also have an amazing talent spearing fish, and then we flip the fish into the air and swallow them headfirst.
You will see me in swamps in the southeastern United States, and in Central and South America. We are a large bird with a long S tapered neck and a long sharp pointed bill and a very long tail. Us males are black with silver patches on wings, and the females, have a light brown head and our chest, neck and the rest of their body is black. When our females are flying their long neck appears headless and they will soar using their flat and long wings. I hope one day you can see us in our habitat by the lakes, rivers, and swamps. Our diet consists of mainly fish, snakes, lizards, leeches, aquatic insects, amphibians and crayfish.
You will find our nests in colonies with heron species in shallow lakes with lots of trees around. Our clutch size is from 4 to 5 eggs, and both adults incubate the eggs for 28 days. Both our sexes will collect the food and feed their babies by regurgitating and in three weeks the Chicks begin to leave the nest and begin to perch on nearby trees. Their first flight would be in 6 weeks. What is so nice about us is that both parents make the bulky platform nest using fresh leaves, green twigs, and sticks.
One thing we do have just like the Cormorants is a very poorly developed oil glands, so our poor feathers, are not waterproof and you will see all of us perched in a tree with our wings wide open to dry our feathers off. One thing we do that is not nice but we will take a nest sometimes form Egrets or Herons and get rid of their eggs and place our eggs in the nest. I know that is not very nice, but we are trying to work on this very bad habit. Well, I hope one day you can find us and say hello….
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