Darters in Katherine gorge
Being relatives of the cormorants, darters are a really extreme kind of birds. Their design is optimized to perfect underwater hunting, so they have their legs next to the tail as a rudder and: hard plumage without grease. Ducks, geese and other water birds spread grease across the feathers, so the body remains warm and dry, even when diving. Once darters dive, they instantly get soaking wet, no air bubbles would urge them back to the surface.
On the other hand side that means, darters cannot really float like ducks, the bodys always remain under the waterline, only the neck and head comes up like a snake. darter afloat
Darter drying the plumage
Every now and then even a darter has to leave the water - maybe when finally getting cold or just after finishing the hunt for now. Anyway they have to dry the feathers carefully. It looks dramatic, but is only their way of hygenics and cosmetics.

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