Snakebird

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The “Snakebird” or () carries this unusual name due to the way that it swims in the water (snake like). It swims very low in the water often only with the head and neck visible above the waterline. They are very good underwater swimmers and this is where they catch their prey, mainly fish but frogs, snakes , crustaceans and molluscs can also be on the menu.It is unique to sub-Saharan Africa and prefers still, shallow inland fresh water but typically avoids fast-flowing water. They can be found roosting in trees, bushes or reedbeds and usually found during the day resting on dead trees and rocks after feeding.Unlike many birds, the feathers of the African Darter are not waterproof, and the bird must dry its feathers before taking flight.

IUCN has this bird listed as “least concern” however the population trend is downwards, it is persecuted in some areas of Southern Africa due to a perceived impact on recreational fish such as Trout. More information can be found on the IUCN website

Anhinga rufa

During a recent trip to in South Africa I was lucky enough to be treated to the sight of one of these wonderful birds returning to it’s perch with a rather large fish.

African Darter (Anhinga rufa)

prepares to enter the water

African Darter (Anhinga rufa)

returns shortly after successfully spearing a large fish

African Darter(Anhinga rufa)

proceeds to drag the fish up it’s favorite perch

African Darter(Anhinga rufa)

still climbing

African Darter(Anhinga rufa)

after a little manipulation the fish is swallowed head first

African Darter(Anhinga rufa)

down the hatch

African Darter(Anhinga rufa)

Gulp !!

African Darter(Anhinga rufa)

and now to getting those feathers dried !

Mike Barth

Mike Barth

Mike Barth, a photographer from Manchester England, was based in Dubai in the UAE from 2004 to 2016. He has travelled regularly to Africa and Asia and has had the pleasure of birding in some wonderful locations. A passionate bird photographer he now offers tours for small groups, maximum of 6, photographers and offers photographic tours to several locations such as Sri Lanka, India, Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana. Please visit his site at https://www.mikebarthphotography.com for information, there you can also purchase prints in various formats.

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Mike Barth

Mike Barth

Mike Barth, a photographer from Manchester England, was based in Dubai in the UAE from 2004 to 2016. He has travelled regularly to Africa and Asia and has had the pleasure of birding in some wonderful locations. A passionate bird photographer he now offers tours for small groups, maximum of 6, photographers and offers photographic tours to several locations such as Sri Lanka, India, Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana. Please visit his site at https://www.mikebarthphotography.com for information, there you can also purchase prints in various formats.

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Maria

This is amazing. You captured one of the biggest hunts by an Anhinga I’ve ever seen. I can’t believe the size of that fish. This sequence is very impressive. Thanks for sharing.