Scientific name: Anhinga anhinga
Location: Indian River Lagoon
Photo: © 2005 Jeffrey Berger
Anhinga mothers will lay an average of 3 to 5 eggs per nest spaced a day or two apart. Since incubation begins with the first egg, hatchlings will vary in age and size resulting in brood reduction.
The Anhinga has earned various nicknames depending upon how you experience one. Veteran boaters call it the “snakebird.” It earns this nickname by swimming submerged with only its neck and head undulating above the waterline like a serpent. The lack of waterproof plumage enables it to travel effortlessly underwater in search of fish, but for every advantage there is also a hitch. When soaked to the skin, the Anhinga looses body heat and must find a nearby perch to warm itself after feeding. With spread wings and fan-shaped tail feathers drying in the sun, the Anhinga earns its other nickname, “water turkey.”