The Indian or Oriental Darter ( Scientific name Anhinga melanogaster ) is a waterbird with a very long, slender, snakelike neck, and a long, pointed bill. While in water, you can only see the long neck and the head with its pointed dagger like bill with the rest of the body submerged. That is why it is called a Snakebird.
Breeding adults have a shiny black body with silvery-white streaks along the wings, a brownish crown and neck, and a white stripe running from the eye to the side of the neck. Non-breeding plumage is duller. Immature Darter have buffish white foreneck.
All photographs in this article are taken at the Keoladeo National Park (also known as Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary) in Rajasthan, India. You can see more about Keoladeo in my earlier posts … HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.
All photographs here are taken with a Nikon D-850 camera and a Nikon Af-s 200-500mm lens. The exposures are Manual but with Auto-ISO.
After hunting fish in water the Darter will sit down in a branch or rock and spread its wing to dry in sunlight. They sit like that for a long period.
The Oriental Darter is a member of the darter family Anhingiade and is closely related to American (Anhinga anhinga), African(Anhinga rufa) and Australasian (Anhinga novaehollandiae) Darters.
Oriental darters spend most of their time roosting or swimming. Since their feathers are not completely waterproof, they absorb water and are less buoyant, allowing for faster swimming and diving. Darters swim with their wings extended and paddle with their webbed feet.
Please click on a photograph to enjoy a larger view. So long. Be safe and take care of your health.