BIRDS of THE WORLD - An Online Bird Book


Cormorants, Anhingas, Boobies / Gannets, and Frigatebirds are rather closely related. Some assign them to their own order Suliformes; others assign them to Pelicaniformes.


Order Suliformes   Family Anhingidae - 1 genus

Anhingas and cormorants are extremely similar as regards their body and leg skeletons. But unlike the cormorants, anhingas typically inhabit fresh water lakes, rivers, marshes, swamps, and are less often found near salt water. Anhingas have a more pointed bill than cormorants which allows them to spear fish. They have completely webbed feet, and their legs are short and set far back on the body. The males have black and dark brown plumage, a short erectile crest on the nape and a larger bill than the female. The females have a much paler plumage, and are a bit larger overall.

Genus Anhinga
Anhingas and Darters

Anhinga Anhinga anhinga   Found: southeast United States to Panama, South America
The Anhinga has glossy black upperparts with white streaking on the upper wings; gray elongated feathers on head, neck.
Similar to: Double-crested Cormorant. Anhinga has a narrower neck than the Double-crested Cormants. The Anhinga's bill is thin and pointed while the Double-crested Cormorant's is thicker and hooked at the end.
Image by: 1, 2, 3) Dick Daniels - Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge  4, 5) Dick - Jacksonville, Florida   6) Dick - Huntington Beach, South Carolina  7) Dick - Sunset Beach, North Carolina  8) Cristiano Crolle - Esteros del Iberà, Argentina

Darter, African Anhinga rufa   Found: Africa
The male African Darter has glossy black upperparts with white streakings; white line behind the eyes. Females and juveniles are browner.
Image by: 1) Arno Meintjes   2) Stickpen - San Diego Zoo, California  3) Hans Hillewaert - Livingstone, Zambia    4) Jazon Wharam - Zimbabwe

Darter, Australasian Anhinga novaehollandiae   Found: Australia, New Zealand
Image by: 1, 2) Scarlet23 - Perth Zoo, Western Australia  3) Toby Hudson   4, 5) Dick Daniels - Manly, Australia   6) Charlie Westerinen - Wyangan Lake in Australia 

Darter, Oriental  Anhinga melanogaster  Found: south and southeast Asia
The Oriental Darter has black upperparts with silver streaks on the wing coverts; brown shading to the crown and neck; blackish-brown underparts; white iris; yellow eye-ring; white line behind the eyes; yellowish lower mandible; kink at 8th and 9th neck vertebrae.
Image by: 1) Lip Kee - India  2) Koshy - India  3) Kalppally

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