Saturday, October 4, 2008

Beautiful bird

I saw this beautiful creature basking in the morning sun when I cycled along the Swan River this morning. I don't know what it's called but it seems to be rather common along the river.

I wonder if I should use a "marine animal" label on this post???


Mosura said...

Great pics! It's an Australasian Darter - Anhinga novaehollandiae

Mosura said...

Oh... and it's a female. With regard to the "marine" tag, they are found in salt water rivers and lagoons etc but are also found inland in freshwater lakes etc.

Snail said...

They're such magnificent birds. Nice pics!

Tsun-Thai Chai said...

Thanks Alan & Snail.


How do you tell it's a female?


Mosura said...

Different colour pattern,

A Male

A Female

Tsun-Thai Chai said...

Hi Alan,

So the female has more white on its wing and light colors/white on the underside of its neck.


Denis Wilson said...

Hi Chai
Mosura has called it exactly right (of course). Male is glossy black, with purple tinges.
Also called "Snake Bird" for the long thin neck. When they swim they swim very low in thew water, (almost submerged) with the neck protruding supposedly "like a snake" swimming (snakes do not swim like that, but that's the story).
Also, they lack oil glands (which ducks have). This allows feathers to get wet, so they can swim underwater more successfully. Same for Cormorants. Both types of birds need to dry their wings before they can fly successfully, hence the characteristic spread wing stance.

Tsun-Thai Chai said...

Thanks Denis.

Yes. It does look like a snake sticking its head out of water when it swims.

And the bit about them lacking oil glands is really new to me. Thanks.

Tsun-Thai Chai said...
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