Anhinga, please.

Since becoming aware of their existence, anhingas have quickly shot straight to the top of my “Favorite Birds” list.

Anhingas are a type of water bird found in the warmer areas of the Americas. Unlike many aquatic birds, such as ducks, anhingas do not have waterproof feathers – This enables them to dive and swim easily when hunting for fish. Consequently, anhingas become somewhat waterlogged after going for a dip and must take the time to dry their wings before they attempt to fly anywhere.

Fortunately, these birds have devised a fairly easy and effective technique to speed up the water evaporation process.  They simply plant their feet, spread their wings and allow the hot Florida sun to do the work for them.

Anhingas are definitely one of the major highlights whenever we plan a day trip to the Everglades – I could sit and watch these guys for hours.  Their awkward movements on land contrasted with their graceful swimming abilities in the water make their behavior one of the ultimate bird-watching experiences.

I’ve been working on an embroidery ode to the anhinga for quite a while – I’m glad I was patient with this one, because I really think the result is spectacular:

I am rarely this infatuated with one of my own pieces, but I truly believe I successfully captured the quirky and lovable attributes of the anhinga in this work.

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8 comments

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