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Anhinga: Anhinga anhinga

Appearance:

The male anhinga is inky black with a cluster of silver/white feathers on his wings. During breeding season, the male's blood-red eyes are surrounded by a bright blue patch of skin. Females are distinguishable by their buff-tan neck.

Habitat:

Also known as the snake bird or water turkey, the anhinga is a year-round resident of Florida. It is also found from coastal sections of South Carolina westward to Texas and Mexico, and even south to Argentina.

Behavior:

You can often spot the anhinga perched on a branch with wings outstretched, drying feathers. They feed on small fish, shrimp, amphibians, crayfish and young alligators and snakes. The fact that their feathers are less water resistant than other birds helps them to swim underwater, where they often spear fish with their long neck and sharp beak. They surface in order to flip their catch into their mouth for consumption.

Mating generally occurs in February with egg-laying occurring throughout the spring and early summer. Nests are built in shoreline trees 15 to 20 feet high.

Additional Information:


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FWC Facts:
Alligators wallow out deep holes in wetlands, creating important habitat for other animals.

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