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Australasian Darter

From Opus

Photo by Neil
Photo by Neil

Alternative name: Australian Darter

Anhinga novaehollandiae


[edit] Identification

JuvenilePhoto by MzunguSandy Camp Rd Wetlands, Queensland, Australia, April 2017
Photo by Mzungu
Sandy Camp Rd Wetlands, Queensland, Australia, April 2017

An 85–97 cm (33Β½-38ΒΌ in) tall cormorant-like species

  • Very long neck.


  • Mainly glossy black with white streaking

Females and immature birds are browner.

[edit] Distribution

Australia to Lesser Sundas, Moluccas and New Guinea

[edit] Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species.

It was formerly lumped with African Darter and Oriental Darter.

[edit] Habitat

Clean fresh water in lakes and large slow-flowing rivers.

[edit] Behaviour

Often swims with only the neck above water.

[edit] Diet

They spear their prey (mainly fish but also other aquatic animals e.g. snakes, frogs, crustaceans etc.) underwater as they swim along.

[edit] Breeding

Photo by Hans&Judy BesteGold Coast, Queensland, June 2013
Photo by Hans&Judy Beste
Gold Coast, Queensland, June 2013

They build a stick platform nest in a tree; the clutch consists of 3-6 eggs. They often nest with herons, egrets and cormorants.

Colonial breeders, they can form large heronries with cormorants, egrets and bitterns etc.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from
  2. Birdsinbackyards
  3. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved April 2017)

[edit] External Links


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