A bird that flourishes year-round in the Everglades is the fascinating, elegant Anhinga.


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Anhinga, adult male


The adult male has greenish-black plumage overall, accentuated with silver-gray feathers and long white plumes.

The adult female is a bit lighter overall and their head is a pale brown.


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Anhinga, female


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Angina, immature or female


Immatures have light brown heads also, so they are difficult to ID whether male or female until they reach adulthood in two years.


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Anhinga, immature, drying its feathers


Unlike most waterbirds, Anhingas do not have waterproof feathers.  It’s actually a plus for them; their wet feathers and dense bones help Anhingas slowly submerge their bodies under the water so they can slyly stalk fish.

The above youngster had something to say to me….



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Anhinga, immature, talkin’ to me


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Anhinga, immature


I was close enough to get some nice close-ups of its dark red eye and yellowish feet.  The eye will turn bright red in adulthood.



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Anhinga, immature


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Anhinga, immature



50 thoughts on “Anhingas

  1. Donna, these are fabulous photos! Isn’t it wonderful when you can get close enough to capture the detail? Congratulations!

    • Thank you, Susan, yes it is! This young one was hidden nicely within the mangrove right along the trail, I walked right by it before seeing it out of the corner of my eye. It did give me a talkin’ to before calming down. 🙂

  2. Oustanding photos, Donna. One thing I love in FL is, the light that is available for sharp and colorful shots. 🙂

  3. Great shooting! Who knew Anhingas were so beautiful? The closeups showing the intricate details are what does it. Then again, what keeps me from admiring them TOO much! ;( If they’re slinking around half submerged, I think that head could easily look like a snake and that loses lots of admiration points. 😀

  4. Amazing photos, Donna. I have never seen this bird, but really would like to, together with a Roseate Spoonbill. Even the name sounds extraordinary–Anhinga–like something from a different planet.

    • Thank you, Tanja. I’ve been enchanted with the Anhingas, they display beautiful and sometimes will make you laugh with their darting head/neck looking at you. I’ve seen the Roseate Spoonbill in previous years and got one few weeks ago in flight, but it is another bird that I would be enchanted with right now and one I’m watching for daily. 🙂

      • Your Anhinga photo with the feathers fanned apart is a beautiful case in point!
        I hope you will have very satisfying encounters with spoonbills and I look forward to your report. 🙂

  5. Excellent series in those final five shots, like a study of Anhinga anatomy! The last shot of the feet might seem odd to some, but actually is a pretty powerful image (maybe because I’m a nature nut). Feet aren’t that beautiful, but they are beautifully designed to serve a purpose. Even those of us with crooked toes, corns and bunions can have beautiful feet: Romans 10:15 “How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” William

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