The huge Kabini water expanse, on the banks of which the wonderful Orange County Resorts is built, is home to a huge range of water birds. Among those lesser known avians are the Oriental Darters. Indian Darters, Snake Birds and so on, are other common names of this wonderful species of graceful birds.Darters have some unique characteristics. They are some of the very few birds that can swim completely submerged underwater for long periods. At times, the neck and head are above the water and the long neck appears like a water snake from a distance, giving it the name – the Snake Bird.

Darter at Kabini

Kabini’s Darters…

They are also called Darters for a good reason. They curve back their neck, forming the shape of the alphabet ‘S’ and wait silently on the water’s edges. When a fish nears a Darter’s strike zone, the razor sharp beak is thrust forward by extending the coil neck and the beak ‘Darts’ into the prey – hence the name Darter.

These birds are also called ‘Water Butchers’ for their gruesome way of killing their prey. While the fish is tossed into the air, sniped and swallowed, their other prey which includes leeches, frogs, tadpoles, salamanders and other crustaceans, are often speared, beaten on rocks, and butchered on jagged edges before being eaten.

Kabini's Darters

A One of a Kind Bird?

Darters are strong fliers and are often found soaring on thermal streams over a few hundred feet.

They can be spotted on the outer fringes of the library at Orange County or during the boat safari.