Remembering a visit with an Anhinga from back in May 2015.
This one is easy. The scientific name is the same as the common name: scientific, Anhinga anhinga, common name, Anhinga. Birds of Florida by Pranty, Radamaker, and Kennedy relate how the bird’s name means “evil spirit of the woods” in the language of the Tupi people of the Amazon, which does not seem very fair since the Anhingas in Florida don’t seem very evil and spend most of their time around water rather than in the woods. Maybe they have a secret life ornithologists don’t know about? Local crackers might call the Anhinga the “snakebird” because of the way its long sinuous neck moves around much like the movements of a snake. A fast, agile, underwater swimmer, the Anhinga spears fish with its sharp bill as a way of catching dinner.