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Anhinga Anhinga anhinga


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Anhinga, male
credit: Daniel Schwen/CCSA

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Family: Anhingidae, Anhingas view all from this family

Description ADULT MALE Has blackish plumage, except for silvery feathers on upper wing coverts and silvery, elongate feathers on back and scapulars. ADULT FEMALE Similar to male, but has a buffy brown head, neck, and breast. JUVENILE Similar to adult female, but silvery elements of upper wing and back plumage are duller and show less contrast.

Dimensions Length: 34-36" (86-91 cm)

Habitat Associated with swamps rich with fish; also lakes and sluggish rivers. Found year-round near coasts but, in summer, breeding range extends inland.

Observation Tips Easy to see on Gulf coast, but for spectacularly close views visit the Everglades.

Range Mid-Atlantic, Texas, Southeast, Southwest, Plains, Rocky Mountains, Florida

Voice Mostly silent, but agitated nesting birds utter rattling croaks.

Discussion Bizarre and unmistakable slim waterbird. Swims well, often so low in water that only its long, slender head and neck are visible. Note also the very long tail, broad wings, and yellow daggerlike bill. Dives well and catches fish. Often perches on branches with wings outstretched to dry. Sexes are separable.