Anhinga anhinga - (Linnaeus, 1766)
Anhinga
Other English Common Names: anhinga
Other Common Names: Biguatinga
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Anhinga anhinga (Linnaeus, 1766) (TSN 174755)
French Common Names: Anhinga d'Amérique
Spanish Common Names: Anhinga Americana, Mbigua Mbói
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.100210
Element Code: ABNFE01010
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Birds - Other Birds
Image 7484

© Larry Master

 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Aves Suliformes Anhingidae Anhinga
Genus Size: B - Very small genus (2-5 species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 1998. Check-list of North American birds. Seventh edition. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C. [as modified by subsequent supplements and corrections published in The Auk]. Also available online: http://www.aou.org/.
Concept Reference Code: B98AOU01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Anhinga anhinga
Taxonomic Comments: Relationships to A. rufa of Africa, A. melanogaster of Southeast Asia, and A. novaehollandiae of Australian region remain in doubt (AOU 1983, 1998).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 20Nov1996
Global Status Last Changed: 20Nov1996
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: N5B,N5N (05Jan1997)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (S3B,S4N), Arkansas (S1B), Florida (SNR), Georgia (S5), Kentucky (SXB), Louisiana (S5B), Mississippi (S3B,S1N), Missouri (SU), North Carolina (S3B), Oklahoma (S1B), South Carolina (SNRB,SNRN), Tennessee (S1B), Texas (S4B), Virginia (SNA)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: >2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: BREEDING: central and eastern Texas, southeastern Oklahoma, southern and eastern Arkansas, southern Missouri (formerly), western Tennessee, southern Illinois (formerly), north-central Mississippi, southern Alabama, southern Georgia, and coastal North Carolina south to southern Florida, Cuba, and Isle of Pines, and from Sinaloa and Gulf Coast south along both lowlands of Mexico and through Middle America and South America (also Tobago and Trinidad) west of Andes to Ecuador and east of Andes to eastern Peru, Bolivia, northern Argentina, and Uruguay (AOU 1983). NON-BREEDING: southeastern U.S. from central South Carolina, southern Georgia, Florida, and Gulf Coast southward; essentially resident in breeding range in Cuba, Isle of Pines, Middle America, and South America. Casual northward after breeding season (AOU 1983).

Population Size Comments: Data from the 1970s and 1980s indicated a total U.S. population of about 4500, with nearly 4000 of those in Louisiana and Florida. Numbers reported in most censuses of waterbird colonies generally represent only a small fraction of actual population (Spendelow and Patton 1988).

Overall Threat Impact Comments: DDE-associated eggshell thinning and reduced hatching success has been observed in Mississippi (see Johnsgard 1993).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) BREEDING: central and eastern Texas, southeastern Oklahoma, southern and eastern Arkansas, southern Missouri (formerly), western Tennessee, southern Illinois (formerly), north-central Mississippi, southern Alabama, southern Georgia, and coastal North Carolina south to southern Florida, Cuba, and Isle of Pines, and from Sinaloa and Gulf Coast south along both lowlands of Mexico and through Middle America and South America (also Tobago and Trinidad) west of Andes to Ecuador and east of Andes to eastern Peru, Bolivia, northern Argentina, and Uruguay (AOU 1983). NON-BREEDING: southeastern U.S. from central South Carolina, southern Georgia, Florida, and Gulf Coast southward; essentially resident in breeding range in Cuba, Isle of Pines, Middle America, and South America. Casual northward after breeding season (AOU 1983).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The maps for birds represent the breeding status by state and province. In some jurisdictions, the subnational statuses for common species have not been assessed and the status is shown as not-assessed (SNR). In some jurisdictions, the subnational status refers to the status as a non-breeder; these errors will be corrected in future versions of these maps. A species is not shown in a jurisdiction if it is not known to breed in the jurisdiction or if it occurs only accidentally or casually in the jurisdiction. Thus, the species may occur in a jurisdiction as a seasonal non-breeding resident or as a migratory transient but this will not be indicated on these maps. See other maps on this web site that depict the Western Hemisphere ranges of these species at all seasons of the year.
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, AR, FL, GA, KYextirpated, LA, MO, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: NatureServe, 2002


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AR Hempstead (05057)
MO Pemiscot (29155)*
MS Adams (28001), Calhoun (28013), Clay (28025), Coahoma (28027), Hinds (28049), Holmes (28051), Humphreys (28053), Jackson (28059), Jefferson (28063)*, Lowndes (28087), Madison (28089), Noxubee (28103), Oktibbeha (28105), Rankin (28121), Sharkey (28125), Smith (28129), Tallahatchie (28135), Warren (28149), Washington (28151), Wilkinson (28157), Winston (28159), Yazoo (28163)
OK Haskell (40061)*, McCurtain (40089), Muskogee (40101)*, Sequoyah (40135)*
TN Humphreys (47085)*, Lake (47095), Lauderdale (47097), McNairy (47109), Obion (47131)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
03 Upper Tombigbee (03160101)+, Tibbee (03160104)+, Middle Tombigbee-Lubbub (03160106)+, Noxubee (03160108)+, Escatawpa (03170008)+, Middle Pearl-Strong (03180002)+
06 Kentucky Lake (06040005)+*
08 Lower Mississippi-Memphis (08010100)+, Obion (08010202)+, Upper Hatchie (08010207)+, Lower Mississippi-Helena (08020100)+, Little River Ditches (08020204)+*, Yalobusha (08030205)+, Upper Yazoo (08030206)+, Big Sunflower (08030207)+, Lower Yazoo (08030208)+, Deer-Steele (08030209)+, Lower Mississippi-Natchez (08060100)+, Lower Big Black (08060202)+*, Coles Creek (08060204)+*, Homochitto (08060205)+
11 Lower Canadian (11090204)+*, Dirty-Greenleaf (11110102)+*, Illinois (11110103)+*, Robert S. Kerr Reservoir (11110104)+*, Upper Little (11140107)+, Lower Little (11140109)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Reproduction Comments: Eggs are laid from February through June (peak from mid-March through April) in Florida, April-early June in Texas-Louisiana (limited data), July on the west coast of Mexico (see Johnsgard 1993). Clutch size usually is 2-5 (mean between 3 and 4 in the U.S.). Incubation, by both sexes in turn, lasts about 25-28 days. Young are tended by both parents, can fly by 6 weeks, independent at 8 weeks. Sexually mature probably in 2 years. Nests singly or in small colonies, up to 100s of pairs, separated into clusters of 8-12 pairs.
Ecology Comments: Generally alone or in pairs.
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: Y
Long Distance Migrant: N
Mobility and Migration Comments: In the U.S., northerly breeders are migratory, arrive in breeding areas March-April, depart by early October (Palmer 1962). Basically nonmigratory in south.
Estuarine Habitat(s): Bay/sound, Lagoon, River mouth/tidal river, Scrub-shrub wetland
Riverine Habitat(s): Low gradient
Lacustrine Habitat(s): Deep water, Shallow water
Palustrine Habitat(s): FORESTED WETLAND, HERBACEOUS WETLAND, Riparian, SCRUB-SHRUB WETLAND
Habitat Comments: Freshwater swamps, lakes, and sluggish streams at low elevations and, in tropical regions, primarily around brackish lagoons and in mangroves (AOU 1983). In Louisiana, most nesting areas are freshwater, some brackish; mainly cypress swamps, sometimes in freshwater marshes (Portnoy, cited by Johnsgard 1993). Favored habitats have areas of open nonturbid water (Palmer 1962). Nests near top of tree or shrub 1-6 m above water or ground, often near wading birds and cormorants. Male establishes nest site, both sexes build.
Adult Food Habits: Piscivore
Immature Food Habits: Piscivore
Food Comments: Eats mainly fishes; also other aquatic vertebrates and invertebrates (see Johnsgard 1993 for details). Dives from water surface or while flying or from perch, spears fishes on bill (Palmer 1962).
Colonial Breeder: Y
Length: 89 centimeters
Weight: 1235 grams
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Colonial Wading Birds

Use Class: Breeding
Subtype(s): Foraging Area, Breeding Colony
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of historical breeding , or current and likely recurring breeding, at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of one or more breeding pairs in appropriate habitat. Small heron colonies (rookeries or heronries) are often ephemeral in nature; recommend tracking rookeries which maintain a minimum of 15 active nests over 2-3 years. Where concentrations of non-breeding individuals occur within the boundaries of a breeding occurrence (especially if augmented by migrants), consider creating a separate occurrence with Location Use Class 'Nonbreeding.'
Mapping Guidance: Map Foraging Areas in separate polygons from the breeding colony if they are separated from the colony by areas simply flown over on commuting routes.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Justification: Occurrences include breeding colonies and foraging areas, but the separation distance pertains to breediing colonies. Hence, difference occurrences may overlap. Unsuitable habitat: upland areas, except those known to be used regularly for foraging (e.g., meadows used by great egrets).

Separation distance is an arbitrary compromise between the high mobility of these birds and the need for occurrences of practical size for conservation planning. Occurrences do not necessarily represent discrete populations or metapopulations.

Colony fidelity low in some species (e.g. Roseate Spoonbill, Dumas 2000; Glossy Ibis, Davis and Kricher 2000).

Feeding areas associated with a breeding colony (i.e. different features of the same occurrence) may be a number of kilometers away from the colony: averaging 12 kilometers for Roseate Spoonbill (Dumas 2000); 7.3 kilometers for Glossy Ibis (Davis and Kricher 2000); 2.8 to more than 5 kilometers for Snowy Egrets (Smith 1995).

Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): 3 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: A low mean foraging range size for this group.
Date: 28Oct2004
Author: Cannings, S., and G. Hammerson

Use Class: Nonbreeding
Subtype(s): Roost, Foraging area
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of recurring presence of flocks of non-breeding birds (including historical), including non-breeding birds within the breeding season and breeding individuals outside the breeding season; and potential recurring presence at a given location. Normally only areas where concentrations greater than 10 birds occur regularly for at least 20 days per year would be deemed occurrences. Be cautious about creating occurrences for observations that may represent single events.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance arbitrary, set at 10 kilometers to define occurrences of manageable size for conservation purposes. Occurrences defined primarily on the basis of areas supporting concentrations of foraging birds, rather than on the basis of distinct populations.
Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): 3 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: Based on foraging ranges from breeding rookeries.
Date: 19Apr2002
Author: Cannings, S.
Population/Occurrence Viability
Help
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 18Feb1994
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
  • Alabama Ornithological Society. 2006. Field checklist of Alabama birds. Alabama Ornithological Society, Dauphin Island, Alabama. [Available online at http://www.aosbirds.org/documents/AOSChecklist_april2006.pdf ]

  • Allen, C. R., S. Demarais, and R. S. Lutz. 1994. Red imported fire ant impact on wildlife: an overview. The Texas Journal of Science 46(1):51-59.

  • American Ornithologists Union (AOU). 1998. Check-list of North American Birds. 7th edition. American Ornithologists Union, Washington, D.C. 829 pages.

  • American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 1983. Check-list of North American Birds, 6th edition. Allen Press, Inc., Lawrence, Kansas. 877 pp.

  • American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 1998. Check-list of North American birds. Seventh edition. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C. [as modified by subsequent supplements and corrections published in The Auk]. Also available online: http://www.aou.org/.

  • BirdLife International. 2004b. Threatened birds of the world 2004. CD ROM. BirdLife International, Cambridge, UK.

  • Braun, M. J., D. W. Finch, M. B. Robbins, and B. K. Schmidt. 2000. A field checklist of the birds of Guyana. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

  • DICKINSON, MARY B., ED. 1999. FIELD GUIDE TO THE BIRDS OF NORTH AMERICA, 3RD ED. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY, WASHINGTON, D.C. 480 PP.

  • Dumas, J. V. 2000. Roseate Spoonbill (AJAIA AJAJA). No. 490 IN A. Poole and F. Gill, editors, The birds of North America. The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA. 32pp.

  • Eagar, D.C. and Hatcher, R.M. (editors). 1980. Tennessee's Rare Wildlife - Volume 1: The Vertebrates.

  • Harrison, H. H. 1979. A field guide to western birds' nests. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 279 pp.

  • Howell, S. N. G., and S. Webb. 1995. A guide to the birds of Mexico and northern Central America. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.

  • Imhof, T. A. 1976. Alabama birds. Second edition. University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa. 445 pages.

  • Imhof, T. A. 1976. Alabama birds. Second edition. Univ. Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa. 445 pp.

  • Johnsgard, P. A. 1993. Cormorants, darters, and pelicans of the world. Smithsonian Institute Press, Washington, D.C. xiv + 445 pp.

  • Lowery, George H. 1974. The Birds of Louisiana. LSU Press. 651pp.

  • Mirarchi, R.E., editor. 2004. Alabama Wildlife. Volume 1. A checklist of vertebrates and selected invertebrates: aquatic mollusks, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. The University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, Alabama. 209 pages.

  • Nicholson, C.P. 1997. Atlas of the breeding birds of Tennessee. The University of Tennessee Press. 426 pp.

  • Palmer, R. S. (editor). 1962. Handbook of North American birds. Vol. 1. Loons through flamingos. Yale University Press, New Haven. 567 pp.

  • Parker III, T. A., D. F. Stotz, and J. W. Fitzpatrick. 1996. Ecological and distributional databases for neotropical birds. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

  • Peterson, R. T. 1980. A field guide to the birds of eastern and central North America. Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, MA. 384 pages.

  • Raffaele, H., J. Wiley, O. Garrido, A. Keith, and J. Raffaele. 1998. A guide to the birds of the West Indies. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ. 511 pp.

  • Ridgely, R. S. 2002. Distribution maps of South American birds. Unpublished.

  • Ridgely, R. S. and J. A. Gwynne, Jr. 1989. A Guide to the Birds of Panama. 2nd edition. Princeton University Press, Princeton, USA.

  • Root, T. 1988. Atlas of wintering North American birds: An analysis of Christmas Bird Count data. University of Chicago Press. 336 pp.

  • See SERO listing

  • Sibley, D. A. 2000a. The Sibley guide to birds. Alfred A. Knopf, New York.

  • Smith, J. P. 1995. Foraging flights and habitat use of nesting wading birds (Ciconiiformes) at Lake Okeechobee, Florida. Colonial Waterbirds 18:139-158.

  • Spendelow, J. A. and S. R. Patton. 1988. National Atlas of Coastal Waterbird Colonies in the Contiguous United States: 1976-1982. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Biological Report 88(5). x + 326 pp.

  • Stiles, F. G. and A. F. Skutch. 1989. A guide to the birds of Costa Rica. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York, USA. 511 pp.

  • Terres, J. K. 1980. The Audubon Society encyclopedia of North American birds. Alfred A. Knopf, New York.

  • Zook, J. L. 2002. Distribution maps of the birds of Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama. Unpublished.

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Citation for Bird Range Maps of North America:
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