I never thought I'd be reporting this species in Vermont, but it was
indeed an


that I saw this afternoon soaring with Ring-billed Gulls over downtown
Burlington. The bird was seen at 1 PM, drifting northward with the gull kettle
and eventually out of sight.  I watched the bird for about 10 minutes and could
not relocate it afterwards.  It was soaring hawk-like on perfectly flat and
fully extended wings, interpersed at long intervals with 2 or 3 gentle, slow
flaps.  Wingtips were highly rounded in appearance.  Tail was very long, held
fanned out and perfectly flat while soaring.  Neck was fully extended, very
long, thin and snake-like.  In other words, not a cormorant, not a weird heron,
but a classic ANHINGA.  Wings, tail, and body appeared black, and though
somewhat backlit, the neck appeared paler brown, suggesting a female or
immature bird.

To the best of my knowledge there are no confirmed records of ANHINGA for
Vermont.  This one will be considered hypothetical, too, unless seen by other
birders and/or photographed.  Alas I had neither other birders nor a camera
with me.  Hope somebody else can find it-- check Delta Park, Sandbar,
Missisquoi, etc.


Scott Morrical
South Burlington
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