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Not five minutes from our hotel, on a back walkway leading to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, we came upon the most striking water bird we’d ever seen!

“Bask” (Anhinga, Female, Sunning Wings) Nikon D300, 70mm, F/10, 1/50s, -0.3EV, ISO 400, Built-in iTTL Flash, +1.0EV

“In Repose” (Anhinga, Female) Nikon D700, 95mm, F/6.3, 1/160s, -1.0EV, ISO 250, Built-in iTTL Fill-Flash, -1.0EV

A female Anhinga was drying her plumage and warming her body on the rocks in the late afternoon sun and didn’t seem to mind us one bit when we stopped to gawk and, of course, take lots of pictures. 

Native to Florida, the Anhinga’s body is mostly glossy black-green, with the wings, base of wings and tail being a glossy black-blue streaked with white. Factor in a vibrant yellow beak and ‘Tiffany’ blue eyes and you’ve got one gorgeous bird! Quick research confirmed her to be female since the head, neck and upper chest are a light buff brown and not black as in the male.

Wow! What a fabulous start to our vacation! 🙂


  1. This really is a beautiful bird! I don’t think I’ve ever seen one before, but it’s been a loong time (1994?)since I was in Florida.
    Glad your vacation is off to a good start!

    • Thank you Michaela! I know I hadn’t. We’ve seen her another time now but never as close as that first day. You need to get yourself back to Florida! 🙂

  2. That is one beautiful bird. I loved her neck, reminds me of a flamingo and a swan. Beautiful!

  3. PS: Loved the texture of the stones!

  4. That trail is a favorite of mine. On a calm night you get beautiful reflections in the water of the brightly lit hotels.

    • So true. We played with HDR images of both the Tower of Terror and the Swan Hotel. Hopefully, something will pan out and I will have my very first HDR images to post!

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