Spear Fishing

Yesterday evening I was watching an anhinga out 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 sharp bill. To swallow the fish, the anhinga will often flip it into the air and then catch it headfirst down.  This bird was having a very successful evening…catching several fish for a tasty dinner. Just watching this amazing bird in action is a real treat and photographing them can be quite a challenge!

Anhinga Fishing in the Marsh Pond

Anhinga Fishing in the Marsh Pond

Anhinga Fishing in the Marsh Pond

Anhinga Fishing in the Marsh Pond

62 thoughts on “Spear Fishing

    • Thanks Mike, but it’s an anhinga. Similar to the cormorant in that they are both water birds but the anhinga is the spear fishing specialist of the two. 🙂

  1. I don’t know how you can say photographing this is such a challenge as you do it so perfectly! BTW, yep..camera focus mechanism is on the fritz again. Definitely got a lemon. I’ve had to repair it so many times!!

    • I try my best with these guys but they are so quick they don’t make it easy.
      Sorry to hear of your continuing camera problems, hope you can get it worked out. I currently have my 28-70 2.8 in for repair and they have had it for over three weeks now. 😦

  2. Super sequence, Phil. What seems amazing to us is natural to these spear fishing birds and a matter of survival as well. And they don’t have things like cell phone bills and politics to muddy up their concentration.

    • If they don’t catch fish they don’t live. They can’t stop at McDonalds on the way home for a quick snack if they are hungry. It’s always interesting to me how varied the techniques are of the different species for feeding. They all seem to be perfectly suited for their particular style, but I guess they don’t have much choice.
      Thanks for looking and commenting Steve.

  3. The photos are amazing, with such precise focusing and beautiful details. I love the fact that both visible eyes are in focus in the last photo, though obviously the two do not see eye to eye.

  4. Such fascinating pictures, Phil! Part of me feels sorry for the fish, while admiring the incredible accuracy of the Anhinga!

    • Yes those fish are not having a very good day at all. The anhinga is quite skilled at what he does which means bad news for the fish population.
      Glad you like the pics Maggie!

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