Saturday, February 12, 2011
Water Birds and Waders
A couple of wonderful shots I had to stick in from Fred Bavendam, whose pictures we used a lot of for programs at our park many years ago. The first is the Anhinga, sometimes called a Water-turkey or Snakebird. It swims with it's silvery body feathers underwater, and only its neck sticking out. They pierce fish with this beak, and often have to return to shore to pry off the stuck fish. They often perch on logs or rocks and spread their wings out. In doing this they look similar to Cormorants. You can see the Double-crested Cormorant has yellow on the face, not black, and no distinct eye ring. A Cormorants bill is hooked at the end. Anhingas have a straight bill.
Cormorant populations have sky rocketed in recent years, causing fishermen in the Great Lakes to accuse them of eating many popular game fish. Research does not bear this out, as they prefer totally different species. A much bigger problem is when they roost in large numbers. Their feces is so acidic, they kill the trees they sit in.