They stay with their parents for several more weeks before becoming independent. A. a. anhinga can be found mainly east of the Andes in South America and also the islands of …  They weigh on average around 1.22 kg (2.7 lb), with a range of 1.04–1.35 kg (2.3–3.0 lb). (Owre, 1967), Anhingas and their eggs are eaten by humans in parts of Asia. You guessed it, the diet of the Anhinga consists mostly of fish. young are born in a relatively underdeveloped state; they are unable to feed or care for themselves or locomote independently for a period of time after birth/hatching. The wings are broad, allowing it to soar, and the feet are webbed to facilitate swimming. Laura Kearns (author), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Terry Root (editor), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. In the neck, the 8th and 9th cervical vertebrae create a hinge-like apparatus that allows the quick catching of prey. having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Referring to something living or located adjacent to a waterbody (usually, but not always, a river or stream). The female constructs the nest by weaving sticks together and padding it with live twigs and green leaves. The male is a glossy black-green with the wings, base of wings, and tail a glossy black-blue. Within such habitats, anhingas are able to stalk slow-moving prey and seek refuge from danger in the water, and perch and sun itself in the treetops. Burger, J., L. Miller, D. Hahn. Like other darters, the anhinga hunts by spearing fishes and other small prey using its sharp, slender beak. Anhinga eggs and young are subject to predation by snakes and fallen chicks can fall prey to alligators and snapping turtles. Field Guide to the Birds of North America. 1978. Only the head and neck are visible when in the water due to their low buoyancy. Although not particularly fast swimmers, they are effective aquatic hunters, relying on their quick necks and sharp bills to catch prey. After the birds intertwined necks and the returning bird passed nesting material to the incubating bird, the two switched places. Although not particularly fast swimmers, they are effective aquatic hunters, relying on their quick necks and sharp bills to catch prey.  If the fish is too large to forage, the anhinga stabs it repeatedly and then lets it go. Anhinga species are found all over the world in warm shallow waters. They also have black crests. The range is limited by cool temperatures and low amounts of sunshine. Washington D.C.: National Geographic Society. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Their long neck and strong beak have given them adjectives like the snake bird or the water turkey, by which they are also referred.  The number of individual anhingas has not been estimated but they are considered to be of least concern because of the frequency of their occurrence in their 15,000,000 km2 (5,800,000 sq mi) global range. 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. What does an anhinga eat? Hennemann, W. 1985. Classification, To cite this page: Once the pair is formed, the male gathers nesting material, while the female builds a platform nest, which is usually on a branch overhanging water or in open areas in the tops of trees. Wilson Bull., 90(3): 359-375. "Anhinga anhinga" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. In other words, Central and South America. Hennemann, W. 1982. A dark body stealthily swims through a lake with only a snakelike head poking above the surface. Other aquatic animals, such as crayfish, snakes, and small turtles are also on the menu, depending on availability. The tail is long and is used for providing lift, steering, braking, and balancing. You guessed it, the diet of the Anhinga consists mostly of fish. As the chicks grow older, they shove their heads down the parents' beaks to get this food material. (del Hoyo, et al., 1992; Hennemann, 1982; Owre, 1967; Scott, 1983), Anhingas are monogamous and pairs may reuse nests from year to year. (Burger, et al., 1978; del Hoyo, et al., 1992; Hennemann, 1982), Normally quiet birds, vocalizations include clicks, rattles, croaks, and grunts. pelicans, tropicbirds, cormorants, and relatives. DDT was found to have an effect on the reproductive success of these birds and banning of this pesticide in North America has benefited those birds that breed in the southern United States. 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.. Owre, O. This indicates that it had a special significance in society. Anhingas swim with their webbed feet and pursue their prey, fish, under water and spear their prey by rapidly stretching out their neck. (Burger, et al., 1978; del Hoyo, et al., 1992; Hennemann, 1982), Anhingas prey primarily on fish (Percidae, Centrarchidae, Peociliidae, Cyprinodontidae), but their diet can also include aquatic invertebrates and insects. The tail of the anhinga is wider and much longer than that of the cormorant. The A. anhinga species is a large bird and measures approximately 89 cm (35 in) in length, with a range of 75–95 cm (30–37 in), and a 1.14 m (3.7 ft) wingspan. Passenger Pigeon, 59(4): 347-358. The bill of the anhinga is pointed, while the bill of the cormorant has a hook-tip. , This bird is often mistaken for the double-crested cormorant due to its similar size and shape, although the two species can be differentiated by their tails and bills. Three weeks after hatching, the first juvenile feathers appear. , The anhinga is protected in the US under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. Anhingas are unusual birds. They usually return to the water by gliding into it from a perch or crawling into it from land. Similar to cormorants and turkey vultures, anhingas sun themselves by spreading out the wings, which dries out the plumage and absorbs heat from the sun. If no retreat occurs, fighting will commence by pecking at each other's heads and necks. The anhinga’s neck, bill, and feet all help it catch prey. The lower chest or breast is a chestnut color and as compared to the male, the female has a more brown back. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria. Often seen perched on a snag above the water, with its wings half-spread to dry. Energetics behavior and the zoogeography of *Anhinga anhinga* and double-crested cormorants *Phalacrocorax auritus*. Obwohl die IUCN allgemein einen Bestandsrückgang für diese Art feststellt, gilt sie auf Grund ihres sehr großen Verbreitungsgebietes und dem nur allmählichen Rückgang als nicht gefährdet (least concern). Adaptations for locomotion and feeding in the Anhinga and the Double-crested Cormorant. A. a. anhinga can be found mainly east of the Andes in South America and also the islands of Trinidad and Tobago. Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes). Handbook of the Birds of the World.  Although not in their usual range, anhingas have been found as far north as the states of Pennsylvania and Wisconsin in the United States. The Animal Diversity Web is an educational resource written largely by and for college students. The head is small and appears to be merely an extension of its neck. (Burger, et al., 1978; del Hoyo, et al., 1992), The parents share in incubating the eggs for 25 to 30 days. Most of the time spent in the water is devoted to fishing; otherwise they are found perched in trees. Ornithological Monographs, 6: 138-276. The Animal Diversity Web team is excited to announce ADW Pocket Guides! This material is based upon work supported by the , Anhingas swim with their webbed feet and pursue their prey, fish, under water and spear their prey by rapidly stretching out their neck. Anhinga. Their beaks and necks have uniquely evolved for them to be able to do this. The anhinga cannot fly with wet feathers. They face away from the sun to dry their feathers. breeding is confined to a particular season, reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female, defends an area within the home range, occupied by a single animals or group of animals of the same species and held through overt defense, display, or advertisement.