|Setswana name: Nyakolwa
Scientific name: Anhinga melanogaster
Size: 80 cm
The darter bird is a water bird commonly found in Botswana. They catch fish under water by spearing through them with their sharp bills, dagger-like bills. It swims with its body mostly submerged, leaving only its long, thick neck and head protruding above the water. This picture of the Darter, has given it its common nick-name, ‘snake bird.’
The Darter Bird has a dark-brown coloured neck with a white line extending backwards from the bill.
Behaviour and habitat
The body feathers of a darter bird become saturated when they emerge in water which allows them to dive deep into the waters, and stay under water, to catch its prey.
Darter birds can be found in pairs or alone on large waters and river. They are most commonly found in the Okavango Delta and Chobe Region.