Anhingas swim with their webbed feet and pursue their prey, fish, under water and spear their prey by rapidly stretching out their neck. They come up to handle and swallow fish. Unlike ducks, ospreys and pelicans which coat their feathers with oil from their uropygial gland, the anhinga does not have waterproof feathers. Their feathers get soaked upon immersion in water. Therefore, they cannot stay floating on water for long periods of time. Their dense bones, wetted plumage and neutral buoyancy in water, allows them to fully submerge and search for underwater prey.
Thanks, Susan. 🙂
Fantastic capture of these birds, HJ! Good info!!
Thanks so much, Indira. 🙂
We call ours “Slanghalsvoels” which means Snake-neck birds, for obvious reasons. They really are expert anglers.And your images are beautiful, H.J.
Thank you very much, D. In some islands of the Caribbean they call these birds “Snake-necks”. 🙂