Snake Bird

I found this interesting bird during my last trip to Florida, the name given by the native Brazilians fit them right. This bird’s neck movements are such as a snake.

The Anhinga  Anhinga anhinga, sometimes called snakebird, darter, American darter, or water turkey, is a water bird of the warmer parts of the Americas. The word anhinga comes from the Brazilian Tupi language and means devil bird or snake bird.

It is a cormorant-like bird with an average body length of 85 cm (33 in), a wingspan of (46 in), and a mass of up to (3.0 lb). It is a dark-plumaged piscivore with a very long neck, and often swims with only the neck above water. When swimming in this style the name snakebird is apparent, since only the colored neck appears above water the bird looks like a snake ready to strike. They do not have external nares (nostrils) and breathe solely through their epiglottis.

The anhinga is placed in the darter family, Anhingidae, and is closely related to Indian (Anhinga melanogaster), African (A. rufa), and Australian (A. novaehollandiae) darters. Like other darters, the anhinga hunts by spearing fishes and other small prey using its sharp, slender beak.

Photo Gallery



Text excerpts © Wikipedia – Photographs © HJ Ruiz – Avian101

23 thoughts on “Snake Bird

  1. Great shots! The long neck truly resembles a snake! I got my first good shot ever only just a few weeks ago after seeing them in the water many times.

  2. Your American Darter is slightly different to our Aussie one, but equally interesting, especially when they dry off their wings. I have some pics and footage of baby darter chicks I took recently of father feeding babies in nest, they look so strange, like snakes. The baby would push its head into the fathers throat and shake it. Thanks for the lovely pics

    • I saw your video Ashley, you’re right about the similarity between the Anhinga (Snake head) and your Australian Darter. Thank you for your visit to my blog. I’ll be following your website shortly. You have a lot to see there. 🙂

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