Portrait of Anhinga anhinga

© Robert G. Stalnaker

Portrait of Anhinga anhinga

Uploaded: April 02, 2008


There is no way I could have approached this anhinga on foot and get this close, but in my car, I was able to get very close. The anhinga's wings, unlike many water birds, get supersaturated with water, so they often spread their wings on land to help them dry out. Background eliminated in order to make the image look more like a portrait.

f/5.6, 1/800, ISO 320, AWB, center-weighted average, lens Canon EF 400mm L, handheld, Viera Wetlands, FL, 3/28/08.

Exif: F Number: 5.6, Exposure Bias Value: 0.33, ExposureTime: 1/800 seconds, Flash: did not fire, compulsory flash mode, ISO: 320, White balance: Auto white balance, FocalLength: 400.00 mm, Model: Canon EOS 40D


Mary L. Graham April 02, 2008

Great Capture Robert!! =) #891545

Michael Umbreit April 07, 2008

Robert - Neat capture! I love the details! It just doesn't look like that head should be attached to those wings! :) - Mike #5758267

Robert G. Stalnaker April 07, 2008

LOL! Really. The change in color, the contrast and the way they curve their neck really did make this comp interesting, as their back is a fair distance from the throat and the telephoto lens flattened the field of view.

Mike, did you get a chance to see the white pelicans soar as a group about 1000 feet high or so? To me, this is about tops in the bird kingdom in the grace/choreography category. #5758353

Candice L. Carter April 08, 2008

Beautiful capture Robert! Abstly exquisite in all his elegance! #5762714

Robert G. Stalnaker April 09, 2008

Thank you Mary and Candice. I was trying for months to get a close shot of the anhinga and finally achieved success with this shot. I was real pleased with the detail. Thx #5766415

Jennifer Burt April 10, 2008

The Anhinga is my favorite bird and you've captured it's elegance beautifully. Great photo. #5770410

Cheryl E. Molennor April 10, 2008

OUTSTANDING light and detail as well as the comp. Love it! #5771128

Dick Jenkins April 23, 2008

Great colors. I believe this is a female. I like your composition. During mating season they become very colorful with the turquoise surrounding the eye and you have aced this exposure. You should be proud of this image.

The Anhinga doesn't have the oils that are found in other duck-like birds so once she's been in the water fishing she needs to dry off. However once in and under the water the "Snakebird" just shoots along catching her prey. Isn't nature wonderful!

I love this image Robert. #5830332

Robert G. Stalnaker April 23, 2008

You are so right, Dick, about the mating season. So many species we see in photos undergo these changes in color. Capturing the image is so rewarding. Seeing the physical changes in such a short time astounds me, especially the glossy ibis.

It's not just the color changes, but the actions of mating season, examples of which you captured so well in your GBH photos. #5830372

Gail R. Schuett May 08, 2008

Wow..this looks like a post card to me. I do not think I have ever seen,nor heard of this beauitufl bird...very,very well done! Gail #5900827

Robert G. Stalnaker May 08, 2008

Hi Gail. The Anhinga is a year round species in FL and coast areas of the Gulf and eastern Mexico. In the summer it goes a bit further north and can be a rare visitor in the midwest and east. Sibley's Field Guide lists it as "uncommon" in its normal range, although in central FL, I see them fairly often. As Dick and I mentioned, this species is unusual in that it does not have oil glands like the other water birds to repel water, even though it spends a fair amount of time "under water", let alone on the water, and thus likes to spread its wings on land in order to dry them off, like it is doing here in this photo. I love to see animals from others that do not appear in Florida, so it pleases me to photograph and show animals that many others at BetterPhoto don't see in their part of the country. Thanks for commenting! #5901222

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