The Anhinga (Anhinga anhinga), sometimes called SnakebirdDarterAmerican Darter, or Water Turkey. Anhinga, a genus of long, slim water birds found in wooded areas bordering freshwater rivers, swamps, and lakes in tropical and warm temperate regions. These birds, which resemble cormorants, are also called snakebirds and darters. They are about three feet (90 cm) long and have snakelike necks and heads, long beaks, and long tails. The birds feed mainly on fish, which they spear with their beaks, toss in the air, and swallow.

Anhinga4 AnhingaAnhinga1

The American anhinga, or water turkey, is found from North Carolina west to Texas and south to Argentina. The male is blackish with silvery gray wings and an iridescent green body; the female is blackish with a tawny brown throat and breast. The female lays four chalky blue eggs in a nest of sticks lined with leaves. Both parents incubate the eggs and tend the young. There are three other species of anhingas—the African darter, Indian darter, and Australian darter.

Anhingas belong to the family Anhingidae. The American anhinga is Anhinga anhinga ; African darter, A. rufa ; Indian darter, A. melanogaster ; Australian, A. novaehollandiae.


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