Scientific Name: Anhinga anhinga
Location: Wakodahatchee Wetlands, Delray Beach
Photo: © 2007 Jeffrey Berger
As anhinga fledglings grow older, they reach into their parent's throat to retrieve solid food. Meanwhile, other siblings wait their turn.
Most birds lay their eggs, not all at once, but over a series of days. Since all eggs need the same time to incubate, hatchlings are born sequentially. Thus, the first egg hatches first, the last egg hatches last, and not all chicks start life as equal opportunity birds.
The first-born hatchling has no competition for food and grows rapidly. Chicks born later are consecutively smaller and weaker. Presumably, the first-born fledgling is the one feeding.