Coosa River Basin: Birds
Quiz: November 11th
- A common resident of southern swamps, they are often called water turkeys or snake birds because of their swimming habits. Anhingas swim lower in the water than other waterfowl (usually with just the neck and head above the water line) because of denser bones and wet plumage.
You’ll often spot them sunning themselves on trees with wings outstretched in an effort to dry them.
For food, they dive for fish, spearing them with the beak.
In addition to being proficient swimmers, they are also excellent soarers and have been spotted several thousand feet in the air.
Bald eagles can be found on the Coosa River at Weiss Lake and occasionally along the Oostanaula and Etowah Rivers.
The Bald Eagle has been the national emblem of the United States since 1782 and a spiritual symbol for native people for far longer than that.
Once endangered by hunting and pesticides, Bald Eagles have flourished under protection.
Though considered very regal looking birds, their behavior is often less than noble. While they will hunt and capture live prey, they more often obtain their food by harassing and stealing food from other birds (like the Osprey) or by dining on carrion.
A familiar and widespread goose in the Coosa River Basin with a black head and neck, white chinstrap, light tan to cream breast and brown back.
They often congregate in large numbers in rivers and in open areas including lawns and fields where they feed on seeds.
Because they prefer their nest to be in locations where they have an open view of the land around them, they often build their nests on islands in the middle of our rivers.