Large fish-eaters with highly a distinctive neck and head. Their submerged swimming style leaves only the neck above water, giving them the nickname snakebirds.
Anhinja – Male
Anhinja – Female
- The male’s body is mostly glossy black-green.
- Wings, base of wings, and tail are glossy black-blue.
- Upper back of body and wings are spotted or streaked with white.
- The yellow bill is long and pointed.
- The female has a pale gray-buff or light brown head, neck, and upper chest. The lower breast is a chestnut color.
- It is 86 to 90cm long and weighs about 1.2kg.
- The plumage soaks up water which reduces buoyancy and makes diving easier.
- It also means they spend a lot of time drying their wings.
- Darters are monogamous and pair bonds can last for years.
Where & how to spot in Manu:
- They swim low in the water because of their reduced buoyancy but watch for them sunning themselves with wings outstretched.
- The nest will usually be in the fork of a tree, near or overhanging the water.
- Always seen by slow moving water
- Oxbow lakes are the ideal place to spot them
- Active all day with peaks in the morning and afternoon