Unhinge Your Anhinga Wingspan

Daily Draw March 10th, 2013

This is usually the date when the robins return here. I haven’t seen any yet or my favourite red-wing blackbirds, another harbinger of Spring. In the meantime I am sewing and embroidering to keep my sanity until I can get outside.



Another bird I knew nothing about. This bird (Anhinga anhinga), is found in the warmer climate of the southern United States, Cuba, Trinidad, Mexico, and in South America, but there are several species around the world in India, Africa, and Australia too. The Tupi people, an indigenous group from Brazil, had a myth where a demonic and malevolent forest spirit or devil bird featured called anhinga. Thus their language comes down to us in the name attached to this bird. They also gave us the words, tapioca, jaguar, and jacaranda among others. Imagine.

Anhinga are part of the Darter family and are sometimes called snakebirds because their long necks can move out ahead of them in trees and water, sometimes twisted like the body of a snake they are so long, so that you might think it was a snake if you didn’t see the rest of the body. They are called water turkeys too which is self-explanatory given their colouring and size; they are very large at 30 or more inches with a wingspan of 40 and more inches.

They look remarkably like cormorants but their tails and bills are different as you can see in this comparison.


Very beautiful, and you can see how Charley Harper has captured the essence of the bird in his marvelous illustration.

My husband is taking the drain apart again in the kitchen and making a second attempt to get it right. We have a call into our contractor and he will come by next week to talk about renovations in this kitchen. The more we do now, the easier it will be to sell and escape after retirement. Twenty-six years of repairs and attendant dramas have simply worn us out.

I did manage to do a small laundry last night with the washing machine. I did a small one in case anything went wrong, but the new sump pump worked fine and the pipes in the lawn seem to be draining fine. We are experiencing a thaw here, which might have helped, but I really think the old pump had died. My husband found plastic bits in the hole when he replaced it and things had broken off at the footing and in the check valve, which keeps the water from surging back into the house. I am still crossing my fingers that the new pump and valve on the pipe will rectify the problem.

We darters have things to do and places to go.




2 thoughts on “Unhinge Your Anhinga Wingspan

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