Anhinga anhinga


Common Names: Anhinga, snakebird, darter, American darter, water turkey
Category: Birds
Sub-category: Darters


The word anhinga comes from the Brazilian Tupi language and means devil bird or snake bird. It is a cormorant-like bird with an average body length of 33 inches, a wingspan of 46 inches, and a mass of up to 3.0 lbs. It is a dark-plumaged piscivore with a very long neck, and often swims with only the neck above water. When swimming in this style the name Snakebird is apparent, since only the colored neck appears above water the bird looks like a snake ready to strike. Most of the male Anhinga's body is a glossy black green with the wings, base of wings, and tail being a glossy black blue. The tip of the tail has white feathers. The back of the head and the neck have elongated feathers that have been described as gray or light purple white. The upper back of the body and wings is spotted or streaked with white.

It is not common in Connecticut and the listing here is based on rare sightings. It is typically found in warm, shallow waters.

Edible Notes: The anhinga is protected in the US under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. It is very rare in Connecticut. As a result, it should never be taken for food. Otherwise, it is reported as edible, though the flavor is reported as unpleasant. The eggs are reported as more palatable.
Warnings: Not known to be dangerous.
Sightings