Hindi name: Tirandaj

Oriental Darter or Indian Darter is water bird and easily distinguishable due its long slender neck. The bird is called as snak bird as during swimming its body remains submerged while its neck only can be seen. The bird has curve at neck musculature which helps him to have dart like movement of its neck.

How does the bird appear…

The crown and neck are brown which turn black towards back of neck. Under parts are blackish-brown upper parts are black.  Wing coverts and tertials show silvery streaks along the shaft. Iris has yellow ring around it. In non-breeding adults and immature birds legs and webbing on the foot are yellow while breeding birds have darker grey tarsi and toes with yellow webbing. Both sexes are similar.

Habitat: Where to find this bird?

It prefers fresh water habitat and found at ponds, lakes or slow moving streams.


It feeds on fish. It forages alone. Oriental Darter uses its neck like a dart to pierce through the fish and then brings it out of water. Before swallowing the fish it tosses the fish in air.

Breeding & Nesting

It breeds during June to August in Northern India, during April to m ay in South western India and during winter in South eastern India. The nest is platform like structure. Incubation is done by both parents.

It is Near Threatened species.

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