Capricorn Coast Birds
Australian Darter
Anhinga novaehollandiae
Average size 88cm
  male   female, immature birds are similar  
Distribution; Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea in wetlands and sheltered coastal waters, mainly in the tropics and subtropics.
Habitat; smooth, open waters for feeding, with tree trunks, branches, stumps or posts fringing the water for resting and drying their wings. Here you can find them in our wetland areas and sheltered saltwater places like Rosslyn Bay, often seen swimming with only the snake-like neck visible above the water or drying their wings while perched on a tree or stump.
Diet; fish form the bulk of their diet but other aquatic animals such as tortoises are also eaten.
Breeding depends on water levels but most often occurs in spring and summer.
Darters are fairly common here, the three photos were taken on private property but you can almost always see one in the deep water of Hedlow Creek near Lake Mary.