Date: 23rd March 2009
Place: Karanji Lake, Mysore

The above shot I took by moving very slowly towards the Heron knowing how easily this bird gets spooked by the slightest disturbance. The picture above is not exactly what I had in my minds eye though. I wanted a silhoutte shot, but clearly the light was not bright enough for one. Anyway, luckily I could capture an Anhinga with a fish dangling from its beak in the background.

I have talked enough of the Anhinga (Darter Bird) already in this blog – how it catches fish, how it swims, how it takes to flight, et cetra. But there is another aspect of this Bird I want to present here today. The way the Darter swallows the fish. Catch fish, gulp it down, well, it aint as easy as it sounds. The Anhinga swallows the fish head first so as to make sure that the fish doesn’t get stuck in its long slender neck. In order to swallow head first the grip ought to be right. As the Anhinga catches fish (as we all know by piercing it) and breaks the water surface it doesn’t always have the best grip on the fish, so it does the most basic thing – keeps the fish out of water long enough to suffocate it, then later by tossing the fish in air it adjusts its grip quite delicately before finally swallowing it head first. I personally have seen some very high tosses and equally splendid catches. I present below a few of them.

It looks like a missed catch, but most probably the fish is dead by now and wont get away.


The perfect toss and an equally perfect catch.

Anoop Hullenahalli

An Electronics Engineer working on wireless embedded systems for a living. Traveling, photographing and sharing my experiences here at ANUBIMB helps me unwind and break the monotony of life.


P Kalyan · 2 Jun ’09 at 6:40 pm

>Nice pics

Shalini Surendran · 3 Jun ’09 at 9:15 am

Hee.. so, (like always) u are asking me to visit Kurinji lake.


anoop · 3 Jun ’09 at 10:00 am

>P Kalyan: Thanks

Shalini: Yeah, why not :). but, do visit with ample time in hand.

Arun · 3 Jun ’09 at 3:24 pm

>This is fun to watch 🙂

Shalini Surendran · 9 Jul ’09 at 12:53 pm

>Hey! 🙂
Check out my new photo blog:

Will be great to have your comments, you being an expert! 🙂

aristide · 12 Jul ’09 at 3:33 pm

>nice photos expectacular the last one

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