Oriental darter drying out its wings after a successful dive. Bharatpur, Rajasthan, India.
Darter Drying : About the Oriental darter:
The Oriental darter or Indian darter (Anhinga melanogaster) is a water bird found in tropical South and Southeast Asia. They have distinctive long slender necks with straight pointed bills. Like cormorants, Darters hunt for fish while fully submerged underwater. When they have located a fish they harpoon it on the end of their bill and bring it above the surface to toss it in the air before swallowing the fish head first. They have wettable feathers which must be periodically dried out after dives and so can often be seen perched at the waters edge with wings outstretched.
Darters, anhingas, or snakebirds are waterbirds in the family Anhingidae. There are four living species; The American, African and Australasian darters are common and widespread while the Oriental Darter is much rarer and classified as near-threatened by the IUCN. The name ‘snakebird’ refers to their long thin necks, which has a snake-like appearance when they swim with their bodies submerged.
You can find more about Oriental darters here.
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