The Darter is a large, slim water bird with a long snake-like neck, sharp pointed bill, and long, rounded tail. Male birds are dark brownish black with glossy black upperwings, streaked and spotted white, silver-grey and brown. The strongly kinked neck has a white or pale brown stripe from the bill to where the neck kinks and the breast is chestnut brown. Females and immatures are grey-brown above, pale grey to white below, with a white neck stripe that is less distinct in young birds. The Darter is often seen swimming with only the snake-like neck visible above the water, or drying its wings while perched on a tree or stump over water. While its gait is clumsy on land, it can soar gracefully to great heights on thermals, gliding from updraft to updraft. It has a cross-shaped silhouette when flying.
Canon 50D, 150-500mm F5-6.3 APO DG OS

Featured In: The Birds


australasian darter, anhinga melanogaster, waterbird, west byron wetlands, anhinga novaehollandiae, purple swamphen

Many thanks for checking out my photos, please feel free to give feedback! My wanderings in nature and observations of birds, particularly raptors, is what gives me great joy and constantly reminds me of the beauty and strength of life. My favourites are raptors, I love their freedom, grace, ruthlessness, pride, adaptability and flexibility and I learn much about parenting, protection and blind faith from them.
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  • Dean Cunningham
    Dean Cunninghamalmost 3 years ago

    heaps cool – lovely pic !

  • Many thanks Dean, I love Darters!

    – byronbackyard

  • Betsy  Seeton
    Betsy Seetonalmost 3 years ago

    Yeah… what Dean says! Super!

  • Many thanks Betsy!

    – byronbackyard

  • KatMagic Photography
    KatMagic Photo...almost 3 years ago

    Fabulous shot.. what a huge wing span! Sure must be a large bird with that long neck also. I see a friend there beside him too.

  • Many thanks KatMagic, love the Darters … lol, there’s Swamphen forgaging around near him!

    – byronbackyard

  • Mark Hughes
    Mark Hughesalmost 3 years ago

    Great nature capture with the trusty long lens Debs.

  • Many thanks Mark, indeed … the drawback is it takes longer to focus … oh well!

    – byronbackyard

  • TeresaB
    TeresaBalmost 3 years ago

    October 26, 2011

  • Many thanks Teresa, very happy making!

    – byronbackyard

  • mosaicavenues
    mosaicavenuesalmost 3 years ago

    what great timing, terrific capture

  • Many thanks for your kind comment Kerryn!

    – byronbackyard

  • Rene Hales
    Rene Halesalmost 3 years ago

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