birds, Florida wildlife, nature, nesting, photography, pond creatures, technology

The Gatorland Rookery…

The Anhinga chicks really stood out, even from across the marsh at Gatorland, because the chicks are yellow.  Very different from the Great Egret and Woodstork chicks that were also there.  I had to ask what those babies were because at that point the adult Anhinga that was with them was hunkered down enough that I didn’t realize there was an adult on the nest.  The Anhinga is also called the water turkey, because of it’s tail, and the snake bird, because of it’s habit of swimming with only it’s head and neck out of the water.  I can attest to the fact that it’s startling to see them swimming like that, at least the first time you come across them.

What you normally see is an Anhinga perched on a branch close to the water, with it’s wings outstretched to dry them.  They swim completely underwater to stalk their prey, and they catch their fish for dinner by stabbing it through the side with their beak.  I’ve seen them in smaller numbers at the rookery close to my house, but they keep to the low branches and I hadn’t been able to see their nests at all.  But at Gatorland their nests are high in the trees, and lots easier to see.  And photograph…4-1anhinga14-1anhinga24-1anhinga34-1anhinga44-1anhinga54-1anhinga64-1anhingafoot.jpg4-1anhinga7This last was a silhouette already, so I tried one of the new profiles in this new version of Lightroom.