Anhinga - Anhinga anhinga
While at the Field Museum today I finally snapped some photos of a mounted specimen of an Anhinga, something I had been intending to do for some time. I've always been interested in the odd (and beautiful) Anhinga ever since I saw one snaking around in some pond down in Florida. It's body was completely submerged, with only its head and serpent neck slinking above the water's surface. Anhingas spend most of their life in water. When not in water they can be seen sitting on a branch, much in the same postition of this specimen, drip drying their feathers. Unlike other birds, Anhingas have dense bones, and feathers that can get fully wet. These adaptations allow them to acheive a neutral buoyancy in water. They will dive for prey, spearing fish with their razor sharp beaks.
I am planning on doing a large watercolor (30 x 40 inch) of an Anhinga, specifically of its back as I love the black and white plumage, and the way it drapes over the wings.