Saturday, January 7, 2012

Shake It Out

Anhingas are common visitors to My Florida Backyard. As we've noted before, anhingas fish underwater with almost their entire body submerged. When they surface and wish to fly, they must first dry their wings. Unlike ducks, they do not have oils on their wings to make the feathers waterproof. So they are often found perched along the edge of waterways, wings spread to the sun.

This evening, though, an anhinga that was fishing in the pond left the "drying in the sun" part until a little too late. The sun had already set, and the evening had grown very still. With no sun or wind to help her out, this anhinga had no choice but to shake her wings dry, occasionally giving her head and neck a good shimmy as well (rather like a dog).

She shook her wings pretty steadily for almost 10 minutes, finally taking off as the nearly full moon rose behind her. All living beings have to know how to improvise sometimes!


  1. That is really interesting about the anhingas. We often see them sitting on the banks of a couple of lakes, now we know why.


  2. Aww, what a fun video of that experience. I'll have to pay attention to see if those that visit my pond ever stay past sunset.