What are the special characteristics of the Indian darter?

          What if a bird has a long, thin, snake-like neck that can be pushed swiftly into the water and emerge with a fish in its beak? Well, the Indian darter has this!

          The darter is a black water-bird with a narrow head and pointed, dagger-like bill that can grab a fish very quickly. 

          To do this they swim in water with only the neck exposed, sinking slowly to dive. And when a fish is caught, like a performing artist, this bird tosses the fish in air, and lets it end up in its mouth head-first.

          Darters usually live singly or in small loose parties along with other bird species like egrets, storks etc. Since they prefer to have a life mostly in water, they are found in lakes, reservoirs, rivers or tidal estuaries.

          Although these are water-birds, their feathers are not completely water-proof. So they have a notable habit of sitting on ground, posts or dead trees with their wings spread wide open to dry.

          In some North-eastern regions of India, tribal people use these birds to capture fish from waters.