Species Details

@MSH Sourav (TU Dresden, Germany);

Oriental Darter Did you see this animal?

Scientific Name : Anhinga melanogaster
Family : Anhingidae
Order : Suliformes
Class : Aves
Phylum : Chordata
Other Name : Darter
Habitat : Haors
Description : Darter is a large waterbird with an unusually narrow and long neck (adult bird length approximately 90 cm, weight 1.5 kg, wing 34 cm, bill 8.2 cm, tarsus 4.4 cm, tail 22 cm). The breeding adult looks black above streaked with silver-grey on the back and wings. Its underpart is shiny black. The non-breeding adult has brown head, neck and upper mantle. The male and the female look alike. It feeds mainly on fish. It breeds in June-December. This bird displays an intriguing hunting behavior as it ventures into the water. While submerged, it actively seeks out fish, using its hunting prowess to spear its prey underwater. Once successful, it brings the captured fish above the water's surface, engaging in a captivating display of tossing and juggling before ultimately swallowing the fish headfirst.

During its aquatic endeavors, the bird's body remains submerged, with only its slender neck visible above the waterline. This distinctive characteristic has earned it the colloquial name of "snakebird." Similarly to cormorants, it possesses wettable feathers, which aid in its underwater activities. After its fishing exploits, it can often be observed perched on a rock or branch, with its wings spread wide open, allowing them to dry.
Distribution in Bangladesh
description written by:Fatema-Tuz-Zohora,Department of Zoology, Jagannath University,Dhaka;information source: Encyclopedia of Flora and Fauna of Bangladesh, Vol-26, iucnredlist.org;Photo credit and copyright:MSH Sourav (TU Dresden, Germany);taxonomic checklist:P. M. Thompson and S. U. Chowdhury (2020). A checklist of birds of Bangladesh.Birds Bangladesh;more information, please contact us.