African Darter ( Anhinga rufa, family: Anhingidae)
Birds & Birding in the Kruger National Park South Africa. In Roberts 6 this bird was called Darter
The African Darter (Latin name Anhinga rufa) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 60 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 570 also a picture of the African Darter on page 576. The African Darter belongs to the family of birds classified as Anhingidae. According to the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology the African Darter is also known by these other names: Old World Darter, Snakebird.
In the previous edition of Roberts (ie 6th edition) the African Darter was called the Darter
The map of the Kruger you see on this page shows the areas (coloured orange) where this bird has been identified. The basic information was provided by the Avian Demographic Unit based at UCT and I created the maps from that information ... the green dots show the locations of the various Kruger National Park Rest Camps
The African Darter is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park. It is however a common resident
In terms of distribution of the African Darter in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. African Darter : see above distribution map.
Identification assistance for this avian species ...
One of the first indicators to take note of when trying to identify a bird is it relative size. For example how big is the bird compared to a well known familiar bird. The African Darter is a large bird much bigger than a Pied Crow. The height of the African Darter is about 95 cms and its weight is about 1400 gms
You will find that the male African Darter plumage and colours are different to that of the female African Darter
- Head is brown.
- Eye is yellow.
- Bill is yellow.
- Throat is grey.
- Back is grey.
- Legs are black.
This bird has normally proportioned leg length.
Main diet items for this bird ...
The African Darter feeds in or around water mainly
Aquatic life forms
Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...
The African Darter is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying Anhinga rufa will seek out a new mate
The nesting habit of African Darter is to create the nest on the ground. The bird lays eggs which are white in colour and number between 2 to 6
Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...
The preferred habitats for African Darter are: wetlands and riverine areas
You can see African Darter in flocks. The bird will often also be seen singly.
Names of this avian species in other languages ...
Xhosa ... Ivuzi
Zulu ... Unknown
German ... Schlangenhalsvogel
Portuguese ... Mergulho-serpente
French ... Anhinga d'Afrique
Dutch ... Afrikaanse Slangenhalsvogel
For in-depth birding information please refer to these authoritative avian references ...
Robert's 7th edition number ... 60
The main reference source for this data was "Roberts - Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition" . Other references were "Newmans Birds of the Kruger Park" by Keith Newman published circa 1980 . Names in foreign languages were obtained from the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town website , www.fitzpatrick.uct.ac.za