Anhinga anhinga


Wyatt Egelhoff
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eBird Checklist S40021261
Hobbs-- Rockwind Community Links and Harry McAdams State Park (Anhinga Stakeout)
Lea, New Mexico, United States
Search this location, Illustrated Checklist
Latitude and Longitude 32.773, -103.2022 Map



gular inflated

Observation details

Continuing individual originally discovered by Carol Levine on Tuesday, Oct. 17th. I managed to arrive on-site at just after 6:30 and waited 20 minutes for the pro shop to open, at which point the friendly staff gave me permission to check the pond for the Anhinga. After searching the water and the various trees near the pond, I found the bird roosting near the top of a mature elm tree at about 6:55. For the next 20-30 minutes the bird sat in the tree, apparently preening as the sunrose in earnest. Though only its head and neck were visible, the identification was pretty clear. I was then briefly distracted by the flyover Red Crossbills and in that minute or so the bird departed its roost. It was then seen standing at the edge of the pond with its wings outstretched in typical cormorant/darter fashion. I observed the bird in this state for another 20 minutes before departing. The bird's overall size seemed comparable to that of a Double-crested Cormorant (perhaps taller), but structurally it was much slimmer. The long serpentine neck was quite unlike a cormorant, as was the long narrow rounded tail which flared out slightly to either side near the tip. The tail was approx. 2/3 the length of the neck. Overall the bird was dark, with slightly glossier wing feathers. The breast, neck, and belly had a warm rufescent tone which was exaggerated by the glowing sunrise. The throat and chin were whitish while the steep crown and lores were darker than the rest of the upperparts. The bill was long and thin, tapering to a needle tip, much unlike the hooked bill I might expect for a cormorant. The culmen appeared to be slightly upturned towards the tip. The legs and feet appeared to be a dull yellowish-brown color and the eyes were dark, sometimes appearing to have a dull reddish cast in the right lighting. The gular patch (only visible when the bird inflated it briefly) was a pale fleshy-pink. The body feathers in particular appeared to have a shaggy quality typical of Cormorants and Darters. The bird spent quite some time standing with its wings splayed at the edge of the pond, presumably warming up and attempting to dry off any dew or moisture that had accumulated on them overnight. While it was doing this it would gently quaver its feathers and rock back and forth. Based on the plumage I believe an adult male can be ruled out.

Technical Information

Canon EOS 20D
Focal length
400 mm
Shutter speed
1/800 sec
Flash did not fire, auto
Original file size
1126 x 751

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