Melding the study of poetry with the study of science can enhance both science education and science literacy.
When anhinga dive for food, their wings get wet and they pose in the sun to dry their feathers. Viewing several anhinga drying their wings led to a haiku:
by J S Shipman
The anhinga are
Hanging their wings out to dry
In the Everglades
Here is a photo of a female anhinga.
The audobon society has posted this information on anhinga wing-drying:
Source: http://www.corkscrew.audubon.org/Wildlife/Birds/Wing_spreading.html; Accessed February 14, 2010.
"Anhingas [...] have unusually low metabolic rates and unusually high rates of heat loss from their bodies. Whether wet or dry, they exhibit spread-wing postures mostly under conditions of bright sunlight and cool ambient temperatures, and characteristically orient themselves with their backs to the sun. Thus, it appears that Anhingas adopt a spread-wing posture primarily for thermoregulation -- to absorb solar energy to supplement their low metabolic heat production and to offset partly their inordinately high rate of heat loss due to convection and (when wet) evaporation from their plumage."
Here's another photo from today's visit. Perhaps the male, can you tell?:
More anhinga information and photos:
(c)2010 J S Shipman