As Costa Rica has wisely shut the country to foreigners because of Covid, we have decided to revisit some of our old favorite spots close to home.
Anhingas and Common Gallinules seem to have nothing is common until we take a closer look.
Anhingas, sometimes known as snake birds because of their habit of swimming with just their very long necks and heads sticking out of the water, are large water birds that spear fish with their long, sharp beaks. They accomplish this feat by diving extremely fast into the water after their unsuspecting prey. In order to facilitate this maneuver, their feathers do not have oil. This means that after each dive, they must find a perch in the sun where they can dry their wings. During that time, they are quite vulnerable as they are unable to fly.
Male Anhinga on his way to dry off:
A female, all wet.
Almost ready to take off again.
Anhinga chicks are fluffy balls of feathers with a very large mouth and a pink sack that can hold vast amounts of fish. Their parents take turns feeding them until they are heavier and bigger than the adults.
That nest sure looks uncomfortable to me!
Mom is at the top as her chick swallows another meal.
Chuck once had a Cessna 140 airplane that landed the same way, tail first.
Common Gallinule chicks look like tiny old, hairy men when they are vey young.
They have their parents coloration.
As they age and start to be left alone to wander, their plumage takes on a more camouflaged look
Up to some mischief as a seemingly concerned Anhinga mother looks on
Let me see if I can fly.
Oh no, watch out. The lake is full of hungry alligators.
That was scary. Lesson learned. Maybe.