African Darter.. or the “Snakebird”.

African Darter (Anhinga rufa )

This bird is often referred to as the snakebird, as it swims with its long thin neck above the water and the body below… It will climb onto a branch or rock to dry it’s feathers. Unlike other water birds the feathers do not contain any oil and therefore aren’t waterproof. This makes the bird less buoyant and its diving capabilities improve. After diving for fish, the feathers can become waterlogged. So to be able to fly it needs to dry its feathers. So it’s often seen sitting along the waterside spreading its wings and drying its feathers in the wind and the sun.

A few photos showing the neck that is quite odd at times and then drying off before flight…






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African Darter.. a common bird.

African Darter (Anhinga rufa )

The Darter is a common bird where water is plentiful and fish abound.. now this one I know is also in the Americas and only differs by the thin white lateral neck stripe. It is found world wide .. American (Anhinga anhinga), Oriental (Anhinga melanogaster), and Australian (Anhinga novaehollandiae) Darters, are all family. So yes.. I’m not showing you something you probably haven’t seen before… but I do like these photos…

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