Anhinga

Silhouette AnhingasAnhingas

Anhinga

Anhinga anhinga
  • ORDER: Suliformes
  • FAMILY: Anhingidae
Basic Description

A dark body stealthily swims through a lake with only a snakelike head poking above the surface. What may sound like the Loch Ness monster is actually an Anhinga, swimming underwater and stabbing fish with its daggerlike bill. After every dip, it strikes a regal pose on the edges of shallow lakes and ponds, with its silvery wings outstretched and head held high to dry its waterlogged feathers. Once dry, it takes to the sky, soaring high on thermals stretched out like a cross.

More ID Info
image of range map for AnhingaRange map provided by Birds of North AmericaExplore Maps

Find This Bird

When Anhingas aren't slyly swimming through shallow waters with only their head sticking out, they are easy to spot hanging themselves out to dry. Look around the borders of lakes and ponds with forested edges for a sunning bird. In the heat of the late afternoon, look up in the sky for Anhingas taking advantage of rising thermals. Despite being a waterbird, they soar quite well and are frequently seen soaring at great heights with a distinctive cross-shaped silhouette.

Other Names
  • Anhinga Americana (Spanish)
  • Anhinga d'Amérique (French)
  • Cool Facts