The Anhingas are Growing Up!

Young Female Anhinga in Spring Greenery

Watching baby birds grow up shows it is not a far reach to compare them with human young. They just go through the stages in weeks instead of years. On February the 22nd I took some pictures of baby anhingas only a couple of weeks old being fed by their parents. For reference these images are here and some previous others here  .  These interesting creatures are completely helpless and dependent on protection and feeding from their parents to survive. And, while they look a bit like space aliens or ugly ducklings they will quickly mature into one of the most elegant birds on our beautiful and diverse planet. (as here)

The two images I am sharing today are just a little later down the timeline. The image below was taken on March 3rd and shows a curious chick at the edge of its nest high above a cascading drop of leafless limbs.  Even in the early morning light, it is easy to see that this ‘teen’ is still tied to the nest awaiting the return of Mom or Dad with a meal. Although, the energetic youngster will scamper about the branches and exercise its wings greatly between parental feeding visits. Late winter’s muted light highlights the still downy feathers of the bird and the curves of the pond apple tree branches. Everything is waiting for just a few short weeks until everything erupts in a blast of green when Spring arrives.

By April the 15th when the top image was taken, Spring had most certainly sprung!! The upper portrait reveals a young lady with a shy, self-conscious demeanor in a pose alert to her surroundings. Already taking on the distinctive feathering of her kind, she sits in a glorious green glow as the branches are now as fully leaved as she is now feathered!!

Anhinga Chick in Morning Light

It is always such a pleasure watching a small new creature grow up and become itself! One of life’s purest joys!


~ by Judy on May 2, 2015.

16 Responses to “The Anhingas are Growing Up!”

  1. Great flow of events, and images. Jack

    • Kind of nice to think that for these birds and this season, that you have actually met this particular little anhinga!

  2. So beautiful, it would be a privilege to watch her grow Judy so thanks for sharing the experience with us.

    • Yeah, I think it is a treat to be able to witness this and look forward to each new season. Haven’t worn weary on the prospect of seeing it all again each year yet!! A cycle that seems like it ought to be exactly the same each year, always brings something new and different to the photographer or observer.

  3. Excellent and so infomative photos! I am always amazed at how fast birds and other animals grow to adulthood, as compared to humans anyway.

    • It is true that the cycle of life is speedier than imaginable with birds. Perhaps that is nice for us humans with a short attention span that we can hang in enough to see the breeding season through. Right off hand I don’t know the life span of anhingas but the herons and wood storks depending on species can live 17 – 30 years…so in reality we see the most dramatic changes then, once adults, we just watch them feed and nest.

  4. The chick is adorable.

    • Thanks!! Wish I could get my husband to come round to that thinking. He doesn’t understand my interest in these younglings!

  5. Ah, love these babies during this season! That’s one of the best portraits I’ve seen of a little one, too. Usually they’re all bundled together, so active that it’s tough to get a shot!

    • It is true that anhinga chicks seem to always stay close to each other with their sinuous necks sometimes entwined making an individual portrait difficult. I think this chick is just old enough to toddle out on his own without sibs being in the way. Still cute waiting for the food to fly in.

  6. I don’t know why I’m surprised to see their webbed feet. It’s logical enough. Yet, for a moment I was. Excellent photos. See, I do landscapes: they don’t move.

    • Keeping up with the anhingas can be a challenge!! Their feet are not only webbed, all four toes are webbed!! First time I saw a cormorant on the beach with its neck tucked, with the webbed feet I thought it was a duck. Later I noticed the bill was more like a sea gull’s. So I understand that it can throw you at first until you realize what swimmers anhingas are.

  7. That photo of the younger chick is absolutely adorable. Even I warmed to that one! I did go and look again at your other links, and I must say — one of the unexpected pleasures of this new monitor is that black and white images are substantially improved. The colored are too, of course, but I really notice it with b&w. I’m going to have to toddle over to your archives and have another look.

    • Look forward to what you think about it all. A new more up to date monitor can really help with viewing art and photos. I think is it so cool that you would revisit some of mine with the new display!!

  8. It’s great that you were able to get such close looks at these juvenile birds. Every time I see the word anhinga I think about unhinged, which the birds didn’t seem to become due to your presence.

    • If you want to see them unhinged you must come during dinner—-a lot of disorganized wobbling and flapping going on!! Honestly, I don’t know how the parents survive the whole process!! It must be a relief to get back to fishing for yourself!

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