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An anhinga standing on a piling.


Anhinga (Anhinga anhinga) can be found in the warm marsh waters of the Americas, swimming with only its snorkel-like head and neck out of the water. Unlike most other birds, they do not have an oil gland to waterproof themselves. When they get wet, they are neutrally buoyant and are able to stalk fish underwater, where they stab pray with a dagger-like bill. After swimming, the bird perches on a branch facing the sun, fans out its wings and turkey-shaped tail to warm its body, and dries its feathers out. The Tupi Indians of Brazil named them “Anhinga”, meaning Devil Bird, possibly due to its grunting vocalizations.

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