Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Wild Bird Wednesday 223 - Darter

Darters are a fish eating bird that can be found over most of Australia - they tend to be absent from the dryer areas, for obvious reasons.

When I say that they are fish eating - what I should probably have said is that they are reputed to be fish eating, as it has taken me a rather long time to get any photographic evidence of this activity!

The first set of pictures were taken at Mamukala Bird Hide, and show really well that these birds feathers do not have the same water repelling oils applied to them as other birds.  If these were pictures of ducks you would see water 'beading' all of the feathers on the back of the bird.  As you can see this Darter looks soaking wet.  This is an adaptation to diving under water, as it makes the bird less buoyant.

This bird is also know as the 'Snake Bird' - and when its body is underwater, and all you can see is the neck and head, you can see why.  The formal name - Anhinga novaehollandiae - means New Holland Devil Bird.  The New Holland being an old name for Australia, and the Devil Bird being based on the name given to very similar birds that were first seen in South America.





The second set of pictures, where a different bird has caught what seems to be a small cat-fish were taken during an evening tour of Yellow Water, a justifiably famous location in the Kakadu National Park.





Now its over to you - click the blue button to join on with Wild Bird Wednesday.  


27 comments:

Brian King said...

Love that long snake-like neck! Great photos!

NatureFootstep said...

I loved this bird. Your images are gorgeous adn I realise I forgot how log the tail feathers is. The images with the fish is rather creapy. Hard to see where one ends and the other begins. :) Thanks for sharing.

Breathtaking said...

Hello!:) It does look like a snake in the water. Great action shots with the Catfish
in it's beak. Thank you for sharing and hosting.

Chris Rohrer said...

Okay....so here's my question. Are Darters and Anhingas the same thing?

Linda W. said...

Great action photos! Interesting bird - when it's in the water with only it's neck showing the bird kind of looks like the Loch Ness monster!

mick said...

A great series of photosI have found them very hard to get close to.

My Life in the Charente said...

Thay always look like a snake in the water to me. Great shots, cheers Diane

TheChieftess said...

I strolled through the photos before I read the captions...I thought the ones of him with his body below the water was definitely a snake!!!

Margaret Adamson said...

Yes this bird is very well named as it certainly does look like a snake in the water. You have captured a lovely series of shots here. Thanks for hosting this blog

Kenneth Cole Schneider said...

In the US they are also called Water Turkeys because of the fan tail with buffy tips. Our Anhinga looks almost identical but it is given the species name of Anhinga anhinga.

bettyl-NZ said...

He looks like a very skinny cormorant! Nice captures, as always.

Vineeta Yashswi said...

Beautiful pictures... Second set of pictures are amazing...

diane b said...

Great capture to get the fish in its beak.

Jo said...

Hi Stewart, what an amazing set of images. In South Africa their Afrikaans name is: Slanghalsnek meaning snake throat neck! Thanks for hosting this meme; I've linked up my birds for today. Greetings, Jo

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

Anahingas are fun to watch. Wish they weren't so skittish.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Either Snake bird or darter are great names ...lovely to get the dinner eating sequence. They look much like our anhingas.. and both anhingas and cormorants do that wing spreading thing to dry their feathers because they don't have oil like ducks do. Thank you so much for hosting.

Andrea Priebe said...

A good follow up to Halloween ... this is one creepy looking bird. Do I see teeth in his mouth? They are like an extreme (devilish) version of the cormorant who also don't have oils on their feathers so they are less buoyant. I have to say that the second set of pictures with the cat fish are spectacular with the reflection and the "caught in the act" pose of the Darter. You are up to snuff as always, Stewart.

Andrea @ From the Sol

Mama Zen said...

That second series is just amazing!

Linda aka Crafty Gardener said...

Those look like fascinating birds to watch.

Gayle - venturesinphotos said...

The way they maneuver the fish is amazing.

Missy George said...

Now that's a creepy looking bird ! Wonderful pictures Stewart..I'm afraid I have no birds to share this week..Only ghosties and goblins..

Phyllis Oller said...

I thought for sure that bird was a snake at first! That`s a new one for me.I loved the next bird eating the fish,it is amazing how they get that down their neck & into their bellies! Thanks for hosting & sharing!phyllis

Mosura said...

Nice shots of the Darters, especially the ones with the fish. We don't get them down here in Tassie. (...or extremely rarely)

A Quiet Corner said...

Stewart, you are so right!! That Darter looks so snake-like when submerged...it is amazing! ...:)JP

Lady Fi said...

Cool shots.

Dave Lewis said...

Anhingas are certainly the odd bird!

Marie C said...

Fabulous shots!