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Old Aug 8, 2008, 5:16 PM   #1
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Everglades, Loxahatchee

K20D, DA* 300mm F4
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Old Aug 8, 2008, 9:00 PM   #2
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Hi Ed,

Nice capture!

We don't get these up North, so this is a bird that I'm not familiar with at all. Was it spreading its wings to dry off ala Cormorants, or was it starting to take off? I've seen Cormorants just stand there like this for quite a few seconds at a time -- almost like they're posing.

Scott
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Old Aug 8, 2008, 9:40 PM   #3
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Nice shot Ed. They are a very impressive bird.

They sit with their wings open to dry them. They don't have oils in their feathers to make them waterproof.

Dennis
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Old Aug 9, 2008, 4:12 PM   #4
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Driver is correct - both anhingas and cormorants lack the oil glans that in other birds provides waterproofing. This enables water to penetrate to the skin (like a wet suit), retarding buoyancy, so they don't pop to the surface like ducks (which trap air beneath the feathers) do. Cormorants are very deep divers and would use too much energy fighting buoyancy, and anhingas stalk their prey, swimming too slowly under water to remain down if too buoyant. Anhingas have more wing surface than cormorants and must dry their feathers before being able to fly.
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Old Aug 9, 2008, 8:49 PM   #5
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penolta wrote:
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Driver is correct - both anhingas and cormorants lack the oil glans that in other birds provides waterproofing. This enables water to penetrate to the skin (like a wet suit), retarding buoyancy, so they don't pop to the surface like ducks (which trap air beneath the feathers) do. Cormorants are very deep divers and would use too much energy fighting buoyancy, and anhingas stalk their prey, swimming too slowly under water to remain down if too buoyant. Anhingas have more wing surface than cormorants and must dry their feathers before being able to fly.
Lack of buoyancy must be why they swim like this.

Ed
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Old Aug 10, 2008, 2:18 PM   #6
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snooked wrote:
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Lack of buoyancy must be why they swim like this.

Ed
It is. And it is also why they are called Snakebirds. Nice shot.

Edit: oops - didn't see your other post.
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