Anhinga Feeding Young

What's in there for me?

The Anhinga (Anhinga anhinga) is quite common in southeast Florida and is seen here at Wakodahatchee Wetlands feeding its young fledglings. These birds are also known as the American Darter and snakebirds.

The birds (both male and female) dive for fish and other available food like small snakes. They begin the digestion process for the young birds who lack the proper enzymes at their tender age. It has been little a bit more than a month since these birds were hatched. Once they leave the nest they will have to wait for two years before becoming parents themselves.

Feeding behavior

The young then retrieve their meal by “diving” down the neck of their parent for their food. The birds are nesting on an island that is fairly close to the boardwalk at Wakodahatchee and I used a Canon 70-200 L f4 for these images.

The adults regurgitate the food for the chicks to eat. Both parents feed the fledglings – they are monogamous mating pairs throughout the breeding season.

Once the fledglings are older they will eat whole fish, etc. Within about two weeks, these birds will learn to hunt for themselves and leave the nest. Additional photos of these Anhingas can been seen on my photo gallery.

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