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Snake Bird

Snake Bird
Photo Information
Copyright: Sujoy Bhawal (sujoybhawal) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 70 W: 0 N: 406] (2181)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2012-02-25
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 7D, Canon 100-400mm EF f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/400 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2012-04-01 7:17
Viewed: 3934
Points: 12
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Chobe River has wide variety of life. It is a beautiful sight to see the snake bird diving right inside the water and picking up fish. I was able to capture one of the bird with a fish. I hope you all like this and thanks for standing by.

The darters or snakebirds are mainly tropical waterbirds in the family Anhingidae. There are four living species, three of which are very common and widespread while the fourth is rarer and classified as near-threatened by the IUCN. The term "snakebird" is usually used without any additions to signify whichever of the completely allopatric species occurs in any one region. It refers to their long thin neck, which has a snake-like appearance when they swim with their bodies submerged, or when mated pairs twist it during their bonding displays. "Darter" is used with a geographical term when referring to particular species. It alludes to their manner of procuring food, as they impale fishes with their thin, pointed beak. The American Darter (A. anhinga) is more commonly known as the Anhinga. It is sometimes called "water turkey" in the southern United States for little clearly apparent reason; though the Anhinga is quite unrelated to the wild turkey, they are both large, blackish birds with long tails that are sometimes hunted for food.
"Anhinga" is derived from the Tupi ajíŋa (also transcribed áyinga or ayingá), which in local mythology refers to a malevolent demonic forest spirit; it is often translated as "devil bird". The name changed to anhingá or anhangá as it was transferred to the Tupi–Portuguese Língua Geral. However, in its first documented use as an English term in 1818, it referred to an Old World darter. Ever since, it has also been used for the modern genus Anhinga as a whole.

Anhingidae are large birds with sexually dimorphic plumage. They measure about 80 to 100 cm (2.6 to 3.3 ft) in length, with a wingspan around 120 cm (3.9 ft), and weigh some 1,050 to 1,350 grams (37 to 48 oz). The males have black and dark brown plumage, a short erectile crest on the nape and a larger bill than the female. The females have a much paler plumage, especially on the neck and underparts, and are a bit larger overall. Both have grey stippling on long scapulars and upper wing coverts. The sharply pointed bill has serrated edges, a desmognathous palate and no external nostrils. The darters have completely webbed feet, and their legs are short and set far back on the body.

Darters feed mainly on mid-sized fish; far more rarely, they eat other aquatic vertebrates and large invertebrates of comparable size. These birds are foot-propelled divers that quietly stalk and ambush their prey; then they use their sharply pointed bill to impale the food animal. On the underside of the cervical vertebrae 5-7 is a keel, which allows for muscles to attach to form a hinge-like mechanism that can project the neck, head and bill forward like a throwing spear. After they have stabbed the prey, they return to the surface where they toss their food into the air and catch it again, so that they can swallow it head-first. Like cormorants, they have a vestigial preen gland and their plumage gets wet during diving. To dry their feathers after diving, darters move to a safe location and spread their wings.

maaciejka, drchoneydew, ramthakur, anel, Alex99 has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Sujoy,

Amazing shot. Great clarity & sharpness for a mid-day shot loike this.


Hi Sujoy,
really beautiful! Perfect shot. Great sharpness and details. Amazing colours. Excellent timing.
Thanks for sharing,

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2012-04-01 12:05]

Hello Sujoy,
Although the light conditions were not optimal, this is a beautiful photo. Fantastic composition in beautiful natural colours. Excellent sharpness and DOF.

oh is this AWESOME or WHAT?????????? BET YOU WERE THRILLED TO CAPTURE THIS MOMENT..i know i would and so thankful you shared! well done

An impressive capture at the spur of the moment, Sujoy.
You were at the right place at the right time to obtain this frame of unusual artistic beauty in Botswana.
Well done and TFS!

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2012-04-02 4:20]

Hello Sujoy,
Lucky to have caught the bird with the great fish in the beak. The long neck of the bird really reminds the shape of a snake. Amazing appearance. Lovely natural shot including the environment. Well done!
Kind regards

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2012-04-03 11:52]

Hi Sujoy.
What a wonderful subject and top quality picture. Especially I like amazing pictorial nicely smoothed BG, yellow-green grass and remote trees. At such fine BG crisp sharp and attractive scene is looked perfectly. Timing is also excellent as well as the composition of the shot. My compliments and TFS.

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