Thursday, January 21, 2010

Anhinga Catches More Than A Mouthful

The Everglades National Park

It's been too long since I've posted, and even longer since I've posted on birding topics.  Generally I enjoy getting out with the camera in the springtime, when it's breeding season for many of birds that are native to Florida.   It's still early and that time has not yet arrived here in the northern part of the state.   

Today I am revisiting some images from an earlier outing in the Everglades National Park, where I saw an anhinga catch a pretty big fish and then actually struggle to swallow it.   In this particular instance the fish was so large compared to the size of the bird, that the anhinga actually brought it to the shore and smacked it on the ground a few times before attempting to swallow it.   It was interesting watching the anhinga actually toss the fish into the air and catch it several times, apparently trying to get the fish to land in a position that would allow it to easily slide down the birds throat.   You can see some of that in the images below. 

In what may seem amazing to some, this ordeal continued for no less than 22 minutes as verified by the time stamps on the 112 images I shot while witnessing it. 

[Click on any image to enlarge]

And finally, 22 minutes later......


  1. Hi Tim,
    Welcome back ;-) You are doing quite a good return with a wonderful sequence! I cannot imagine you stayed 22 minutes there waiting for this bird to swallow his price! You are more than patient and your patience was rewarded. This is a fantastic set!

  2. Wowsers! That was a spectacular series! Seeing it is one thing...but capturing it with beautiful photography also--amazing!

  3. Welcome back Tim. Whow that is some meal. Absolutely superb images. FAB.

  4. Well it is now down the hatch. I suppose the fish was also flipping and flopping around.

    1. Wish we could see that.

  5. Really cool! That fish looks kinda creepy to me with it's black scales, and I wouldn't have thought it is very tasty either... but what do I know. I am not an anhinga.
    Welcome back!

  6. Awesome photos of a once in a lifetime 'see', for me anyway. The Everglades, Cool for you. I love these kinds of posts and will visit regularly.

    Bless You

  7. A dramatic series and you captured it well.

  8. What a way to go for a fish.

  9. Imagine being that fish sliding down alive.

  10. Wow I wonder what the fish was thinking as it was going down inside the Anhinga and how long it was alive inside there.