Spot an anhinga and more when you visit Florida's bird watching hotspots. (Photo by Daniel Schwen/Wikimedia)


A long thin neck and small head, thin yellow bill, and white feathers on the wings and back set the anhinga apart from the closely related cormorants. Anhingas commonly perch with their wings spread and swim with only their heads above water. Adult males are mostly black overall, while adult females and young birds have tan heads and necks atop black bodies.

Listen For

A series of rapid clicks that sound mechanical, like a sewing machine.


Anhingas are excellent fliers, often soaring high in the sky. When it soars, the long, pointed wings and long tail and neck make the anhinga look like a flying X.


The anhinga is known by many names, including Snakebird (for its snakelike head), Water Turkey (for its fanned tail), and Black Darter (for its ability to spear fish with its sharp bill).

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