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The St. Johns River The Intracoastal and Beyond
Anhinga, or Snake Bird


The Anhinga is also known as the Snake Bird, because when it surfaces all that shows is its long skinny neck and sharp beak - and at first glance it sometimes looks like a snake.

(Snakes are taken seriously out here. A Cottonmouth snake is more aggressive and deadly than any alligator.)

Anhingas are very similar to Cormorants. They are both diving birds and can swim quite a distance underwater to catch fish.

Their feathers are very oily to assist their diving and protect them from exposure to the water. When they are not fishing you will see them on posts or dead tree branches with their wings spread to dry in the breeze.



The Anhinga has a straight sharp, serrated bill that it stabs fish with. It will spear a fish through the middle, toss it in the air, and catch it face first and swallow it whole.

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