Anhingas Fishing

Yesterday afternoon I was watching these two anhingas fishing in the marsh pond. The anhinga is a water bird that fishes by swimming under water and spearing a fish on the end of it’s very sharp bill. When it surfaces with the fish impaled, it will flip the fish off it’s bill into mid air and then open it’s mouth wide to catch the fish as it plummets down toward the anhinga’s waiting throat.

An anhinga fishing is my favorite bird action to view, and it is also one of the most challenging wildlife behaviors for me to photograph. These birds can surface almost anywhere and to spot it and lock on focus and hopefully get the patented anhinga ‘fish flip’ captured as it happens can be tough. For anyone wishing to see more photos of these amazing birds in action please feel free to check out the Anhinga Photos gallery at the top of my blog. 

Anhinga Fishing

Anhinga Fishing

Anhinga Fishing

Anhinga Fishing

Anhinga Fishing

Anhinga Fishing

66 thoughts on “Anhingas Fishing

  1. WOW!! You outdid yourself on these Phil!! Amazing shots!! Absolutely love looking at all of your pics!! Hope you guys are doing well. I’m kind of having Huntington Beach withdrawal. Chilly weather just wants to keep hanging on!! Hope to see you soon!!

  2. What stunning pictures, Phil! Incredible photography! I still can’t quite make up my mind about Anhingas – they are so reptilian with the body beneath the water – but they are fascinating!

    • Thanks much! They are sort of waterlogged once they get wet. Although these birds earn their living in the water, they are not waterproof. They must stand around for quite a while once done fishing and dry off their wings and body.

    • Thanks very much, I really enjoy watching and (trying) to photograph these birds. I could have had more shots but got distracted three times while watching them. Once when someone stopped to ask me about camera gear, you know how much I love that. Once when a gust of wind blew my tripod (without camera) over, and once when I saw all the snowys scatter and knew why, an eagle came swooping in. At all these times the anhinga caught a fish at the exact moment I looked away.

  3. Super photos, Phil. The benefits of a fast motor drive or fps rate, I suspect but you still have to get exposure and composition right. Congratulations.

    • Thanks a bunch Andrew, and yes even at 8 fps these guys are super fast and they move and shake their heads around the whole time while trying to flip the fish. It’s challenging but fun.
      Feel free to check out the Anhinga Photos gallery at the top of the blog to see more of these guys in action.

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