Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Wild Bird Wednesday: Australasian Darter

The Australasian Darter is a large, slim water bird with a long snake-like neck, sharp pointed bill, and long, rounded tail.



"Because of its long and slender neck, the Australasian Darter is sometimes called the snakebird. Usually inhabiting freshwater wetlands, darters swim with their bodies submerged beneath the water’s surface, with only the sinuous neck protruding above the water, enhancing its serpentine qualities. Darters forage by diving to depths of about 60 centimetres, and impaling fish with its sharp, spear-like beak. Small fish are swallowed underwater, but larger ones are brought to the surface, where they are flicked off the bill (sometimes into the air) and then swallowed head-first." (www.birdlife.org.au)


I captured the above shots late afternoon... happened so fast with no time to check settings!! It was so interesting to watch.




Linking with Stewart's meme and thank you for hosting this each week!!

22 comments:

mick said...

Wonderful photos of the Darter, Liz. I haven't even been that close to one - let alone get such photos!
re the Godwits migrating - they will be leaving any time for the next month or even 6 weeks so there is plenty of time for even the males to color up.
re the birds you photographed with the Godwits last week - I don't think the smaller birds are Knotts - from their size they look more like Sharp-tailed Sandpipers - but I am not sure as they are so far away in your photos. It is usually easier to ID birds on a video at that distance since the way each kind moves is quite different even if it is too far to see details of plumage. Do you have a video function on your DSLR?

nic.b van es said...

Wat een bijzondere mooie vogel de naam slangenvogel kan ik mij goed voorstellen maar om een vis zo in de lucht je mond in te manouvreren is al een kunst apart.

Carole M. said...

ah you certainly got lucky Liz; great shots of a beautiful waterbird; I love the darter. Great fishing!

TexWisGirl said...

it is just like our 'snakebird' - the anhinga. great shots!

Andrew said...

Wonderful captures...

eileeninmd said...

Cool shots of the Darter, it is a beautiful bird!

HansHB said...

Awesome photos!
Great photowork!

Karen said...

Wonderful shots, this bird is so elegant.

Wally Jones said...

I grew up with these birds (our local darter is "Anhinga anhinga") trying to steal our fish before we could get them in the boat.
They're great swimmers and hunters and one of my favorite photo subjects!
Nice images!

Kerri said...

Superb captures!!

Grandma Barb's This and That said...

Great shots of this interesting bird, Liz. I see why it is called the snake bird with it's head and long neck sticking out of the water.

Karen said...

Awesome shots !

42N said...

Very nice shots. What size lens did you use?

GB said...

Absolutely astonishing shots Liz. I'd give my eye teeth to get such shots.

i stora drag said...

Stunning pictures! All of them, even if I like those with the fish most!
/Pia

Gary said...

Beautiful series!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

What a wonderful series of images. I really like them and you got pretty close as well, i looks like...what fun! It truly had to be a fascinating experience to watch it catch it's food and then take it down~

Stewart M said...

I like Darters - I think they are some of the most reptilian looking birds, dont know why.

Cheers and thanks for linking to WBW

Stewart M - Melbourne

Seeing Each Day said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Seeing Each Day said...

Oh my goodness - are you kidding me?!! You caught a bird who caught a fish!! It was before I got to those shots that I was thinking about the wonderful light in your photos and then I scrolled down to these. Wow. Double wow. Thanks, Renee.

Ross said...

Wow! Amazing shots Liz! To catch that bird with the fish like that is truly amazing! You are so very talented with the camera and you inspire me as well!

Unknown said...

Amazing captures and blog here! I initially noticed your "Grebe vs Fish" shots.

Wow, that looks like a huge/spiky fish (you know what kind?) staring down its captor's throat here! So could the bird really manage to win the battle and gulp that whole thing down entirely okay?? Does the fish put up a good fight, if eaten, does the unlucky prey get swallowed wriggling all the way as well?!

-Kyle

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