Bird Families

Family: Anhingidae Reichenbach, 1849 Snake-necked

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  • Superclass Tetrapoda Class Birds Aves
  • Detachment Copepods, or Pelecaniformes - Pelecaniformes
  • Family Anhingidae
  • Genus Snake - Anhinga

Indian snake-necks, or Anhinga of the Old World - Anhinga melanogaster - found in southern Africa and Southeast Asia, live in large groups in colonies with other cormorants. When a dwarf snake swims, putting out of the water only a long neck with a small head, bending it to the right and left, it looks like a water snake. The bird plunges into the water quietly and noiselessly, dives without a throw or splash. The fish does not scare away.

The snake-neck hunts in a peculiar way: having dived, throws back its neck with a sharp, like an awl, beak, Approaching the prey, it throws its head forward with force and, as if with a spear, pierces the fish. Then it dries its wings for a long time somewhere on a branch or on the back of a hippopotamus, spreading its wings. Then it soars in the sky, easily gaining altitude and gliding down.
A nest of branches is built by a female on a tree half-flooded with water, or on boughs bent over the water, less often in reeds. The male chooses the place for the nest. He invites the bride to "play of wings".

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