View Full Version : Oriental Darter Fishing

Roopak Gangadharan
23-02-2014, 09:26 PM
The neck, head and beak structure of the oriental darter is like a built in rope dart bow and arrow which allows it to be pulled in and kept ready to be uncoiled with force and precision .This unique structure allows the darter to spears fish from both above and below water and then bring it out of the water to be swallowed head first. Following is series of images showing this behavior. The bird in the pic below is an immature one.

Shot at Arrikulam my native village in North kerala near Calicut.

Roopak Gangadharan
23-02-2014, 09:29 PM
Spearing the fish. the bird sort of shot out of the water with the fish at one end.

Roopak Gangadharan
23-02-2014, 09:32 PM
Then it whipped its neck to flick the fish into air and deftly caught it side on.

Roopak Gangadharan
23-02-2014, 09:34 PM
getting a firmer grip..

Roopak Gangadharan
23-02-2014, 09:36 PM
Changing the grip closer to the head of the fish.

Roopak Gangadharan
23-02-2014, 09:39 PM
Maneuvering the fish to swallow it head first..

Roopak Gangadharan
23-02-2014, 09:43 PM
glup....burp..thank you.

The first pic is not part of this series. shot on a different day.


Abhishek Jamalabad
01-03-2014, 07:27 PM
Great work! Fish have backward-pointing spines on their fins, which is why birds prefer to turn them around and swallow them headfirst. One can imagine how powerful the neck and how sharp the beak tip must be if it can spear a free-swimming fish right through the layers of slime and scales!

Shyamala Kumar
02-03-2014, 08:03 AM
A natural sequence of events, which may have lasted a few seconds, most beautifully captured . It is very enlightening indeed to see the meticulous and scientific precision, with which the fish is safely consumed.Thanks for sharing.