Monday, August 13, 2012

Cormorants & Anhingas

Cormorants and Anhingas are two common Florida birds that share many similar characteristics. They both have long, snake-like necks and can be seen perched along coastal areas, rivers, lake, or ponds. While Anhingas tend to prefer fresh water, and Cormorants salt water, I often see them cohabiting areas, such as the brackish lagoon and the wetlands.

Double-crested Cormorant

Anhinga

Cormorants, like Anhingas, do not have oil glands because their feathers are not water repellent. This benefits both species by allowing them to move easier underwater while foraging.


Cormorants and Anhingas are often seen taking advantage of Florida's sun to dry their non-waterproof wings.


Perhaps the most easily identifiable difference between the two birds is their bill shape.


Cormorants have a curved, hooked bill opposed to Anhingas straight, long bill. In addition, Anhingas have longer tails and small, white markings on their backs.



Both species forage below the surface of the water and feed primarily on fish.



Cormorants have striking crystal like blue eyes. Anhingas display a striking blue-green eye ring in its breeding plumage.



37 comments:

  1. Great pics Tammy, really nice study of the two species superb :-)

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  2. Hi Tammy!
    Lovely serie of the Cormorants.
    Greetings from Sweden
    /Ingemar

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  3. Great series of Cormorants and Anhingas.
    Greetings Irma

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  4. AMAZING....what a great shots Tammy,
    i like the sharpness and lovely colors.

    Greetings, Joop

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  5. these are fabulous photos showing off their unique beauty! thanks, tammy!

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  6. Fantasticas fotos de estos Cormoranes.Saludos

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  7. Great shots Tammy and like the ID help as well.

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  8. Your pictures are so clear, I feel as if I'm right there with you! I love the similar poses between the two birds allowing us to see the differences as well as how beautiful they both are.

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  9. Sehr schöne Bilder der Unterschied von Kormoran und Anhinga
    schön erklärt.

    Gruß
    Noke

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  10. Muy interesantes las fotos.
    Dentro de dos semanas iré a América. No puedo esperar.
    Saludos

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  11. Incredible captures and informative text for context.

    Do you have plans for a book on birds of your state?

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  12. love the up close eye shots. Great photos.

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  13. Me too, I just love that last shot of the eyes...what a great color....nice to see your blog Tammy, I am catching up.

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  14. WOW... Terrific photos Tammy. You presented a very informative class on the cormorants and anhingas. Thank you.

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  15. Realy grate pictures Tammy!!!
    Greetings Kenny

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  16. Stunning Tammy! Sleek shots of some slender birds!

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  17. Great analogies Tammy, and very educational.

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  18. Interesting facts and excellent photos to show them of Tammy.

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  19. WoW! These are great! The eye shots are amazing, especially the one with the bird with the fish in his mouth.

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  20. Preciosas Tammy, gran trabajo. Saludos desde Extremadura.

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  21. Hi Tammy !
    This fish seems to be too big for this birds ? Beautiful shots og this hunting situation. Clear an sharp pics, have you got some new equipement now ?
    Cheers to you !

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  22. Wonderful sharp captures Tammy!

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  23. You captured the beautiful colors of their eyes perfectly, Tammy. Oh my what a big mouth full!
    Happy day to you and yours ~:)

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  24. Hola Tammy, un lujo de fotografías, y muy bonitos los detalles especialmente los de los ojos, casi tan bonitos como los tuyos, nunca había visto una Anhingas, saludos.

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  25. Holy crap that is a huge fish that Anhinga is going for!!!

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  26. Truly stunning pictures, Tammy!
    Here birds are so much disturbed by hunters that I have near to zero chances of getting close, even to water birds...
    Brilliant, I enjoy your photography very much too!
    Nice to see you're back on the blogosphere! ;-)
    Cheers!

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  27. Gorgeous photos! We have cormorants here, but I've never been able to get close to them. Distant shots in the water is about the best I can do. The portrait shots are beautiful! The differences between the two are easy to see in your photos.

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  28. espectaculares las fotos de los cormeranes y alingas, esos ojos rojo y verde son como piedras preciosas, saludos

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  29. Excelentes fotografias de belas aves....
    Cumprimentos

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  30. Nice. Just the level of detail i was seeking at the moment.

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  31. Lovely photos and great information! Thanks for posting!

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  32. ahhhhhhhhhhh...I'm ecstatic I found your blog. I had googled 'difference between cormorants and anahingas' and thanks to you I know now. YOu need to post more. I look forward to more good stuff. I'm not really a birder...but I've been carrying my camera a lot more during my explorations of Florida, and get asked about my shots. Now I know where to come for my answers *wink*

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  33. We just moved to Wesley Chapel, Florida, and have a pond behind us. We were told that the large birds drying their feathers were Cormorants, so for two months we've been calling them Cormorants. Your very clear pictures and descriptions leave no doubt in our minds that we have been observing Anhingas. Lovely, enjoyable birds to observe! Thank you.

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  34. We have just been on holiday south of Kissimmee from West Yorkshire, UK, saw a large flock of cormorants flying over Lake Tohopekaliga whilst on an airboat ride. Never knew they formed flocks like this. Thanks for your lovely photos.

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  35. A thrill to see these beautiful birds on Sanibel Island. Take the Ding Darling wildlife drive and you'll be sure to see them. Happy watching!

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  36. Great images. Just back from Circle Bar B (Lakeland) with herons, egrets, Anhingas and cormorants galore, and found your page struggling to identify an Anhinga vs Cormorant, with a fish on its beak - so I couldn't see the beak tip. Your tip on the blue eye ring was very helpful (as I could see its eye, with ring, and it is breeding season). But another thing nailed it for me, which you don't mention as a clear distinction but you have a great photo of: the feet. The cormorant, as your photo shows clearly, has "toes". The anhinga is webbed. Still learning all the time. Again, thanks for your page and efforts! Happy Spring!

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I greatly appreciate your comments!