Anhinga vs Fish

Well, my adventure in Florida is winding to a close. This morning, I'm packing, starting to deal with email, and sorting photos for blog entries about the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival. I have over 1300 to sift through from the festival from beautiful places like scrub oak habitat to unique places like a landfill in Daytona. Many more blog entries about the magic of birding in Florida are to follow in the coming week. For the moment, I share these FABulous photos from my buddy Clay Taylor took of an anhinga trying to eat a fish that is entirely too big for it:

I ran into him during one of our field trips to Viera Wetlands. We were trying to get our field trip a least bittern. I saw Clay up ahead photographing like crazy and wondered if he had it. When I approached, he pointed our on the water and I could see what had peaked his interest. Check ou the above anhinga and the size of fish between its beak! Here's a zoom in:

Our field trip had watched a few anginga and cormorants with fish seemingly too big for their mouth and eventually swallow them. Clay had been on this anhing for quite some time and it was getting tired. The fish flipped wildly to escape being eaten, but the anhinga was determined not to give up such a prize catch.

The anhinga valiantly tried to swallow the enormous fish, several times, but alas, the fish would not be swallowed. No matter how wide the anhinga would make its mouth, the fish would simply not fit through. The anhinga held on to the fish and put it under water to try and get a better grip, but the fish won out.

Here is an upclose shot of the Gulp FAIL. Clay got some fantastic shots of this scene digiscoping with his SLR camera and scope!