Darter - Explored
I went on a Flickr birdwatching shoot yesterday with ##Happysnapper##, Allanhowell1 and Brie321 to Sydney Bi-Centennial Park at Homebush Bay. It was lovely to meet everyone and I had a wonderful time taking photos of all the bird life.
Darters are a water bird that is closely related to Cormorants. Their feathers are not waterproof and since they are underwater hunters you will usually see them sitting out of the water on a log or rock with their wings spread right out drying themselves. Their feathers are permeable to water to allow for decreased buoyancy so they can sink to catch their prey. They have an oil gland at the base of their tail which they use while preening and squeezing the water from their feathers. With its body submerged and only its head and neck above the surface, the Darter resembles a snake rising from the water; hence one of its popular names the Snake-bird. They have very long and sharp beaks, which they use with their long neck to spear their prey. Best viewed large.
#435 on Explore on 13th March, 2008.