While visiting Gemini Springs earlier this week, I stopped to watch an Anhinga preening and drying itself in a tree.
The Anhinga is in the upper right quadrant of this picture, in the highlighted circle
As I watched, I hoped it might decide to hunt so I could observe it in the water. I just love watching snake birds do their thing. But this beauty just keep on preening.
After about ten minutes, the Anhinga started awkwardly hopping downward towards the center of the tree. It seemed to be uncharacteristically clumsy and I wondered if it could be after some prey in the tree, like a frog.
I lost sight of the bird just as it approached the bottom of the tree, which was over the water. It seemed to vanish behind the leaves. Or did it fall into the water? I approached the tree from the grassy shore, but I couldn’t see the bird.
Just as I was considering stepping into the murky water to check on the fate of the Anhinga, I saw it on a lower branch, shaking water off its body.
It was covered in aquatic vegetation, so I think it did get into the water, maybe not on purpose.
Anhingas always seem so graceful to me, so it was surprising to see this apparently clumsy individual. Of course, I don’t know what happened during the time I lost sight of the bird. Maybe it acquired prey and was satisfied with a successful hunt. From my vantage point, though, it looked like a bit of slapstick.
I left the bird to another preening and drying-off session.
Bird Photography Weekly is a regular collection of user-submitted bird photos from all over the world. The new edition comes out every Sunday. Go have a look at this week’s submissions!