Awhile back, I found this great meme called Camera Critters. I love the pictures and decided that with my wealth of critter pictures down here in SW Florida, I would join in and I have for several weeks now. I would like to have you hop on over to Camera Critters. There you can either sign up for your own post for Camera Critters or see lots and lots of other great critter pics. So, now that you've done that--here is my critter for the day.
This is an Anhinga or some people call it a Snake Bird. It is a water bird and swims underwater catching fish. It's feathers are not waterproof like a duck or some other waterbirds so therefore has to dry it's wings off when it is done fishing. It will sit for a very long time with it's wings spread--like the one in the picture. I remember the first time I saw an Anhinga with it's wings spread like this--I thought it was injured. I had never seen anything like this before. Now it has become a common occurrence living where we do.
I took this picture in 2003 when we were down in the Everglades. But when I was going through my pictures trying to decide what to pick for Camera Critters, this picture jumped out at me. Yesterday morning our neighbors found an Anhinga right outside our house with a footie stuck on it's beak. We were able to catch it and take it to the wildlife hospital where I volunteer. The sides of an Anhinga's beak are almost like velcro and this was stuck on there pretty good. While I held him, one of the vets removed the footie from it's beak, checked the bird out and gave him clearance to be released. So I brought him back home and released him in our creek out back. He was so thrilled to be able to fish again. He just kept swimming around catching minnows like crazy. If we hadn't caught him, he probably would have starved to death and died a slow, painful death. It always is such a great feeling to be able to help wildlife who can't help themselves. This was a first for me though--the rescue, helping to treat and releasing the same animal. Something I'll remember for quite awhile.