Size 70-75cm. General plumage is black above (often iridescent) and white underneath. Black flank is noticeable when perched. Legs and feet black. A long bone coloured hooked bill. Conspicuous orange-yellow eye patch and blue eye-ring. Pale flesh coloured bare skin on the throat.
Feed mainly on fish along with crustaceans and molluscs which they catch by diving down and swimming underwater. These birds are often seen on a perch with their wings spread out to dry.
Breed in colonies at any time, depending on food supply. After pairing, both birds gather dry or green sticks for the bulky platform nest which is sometimes lined with leaves or waterweed. Both birds share in incubating the eggs and care for the young.
Places to Look
- Coastal Birds of the Burdekin Dry Tropics
- Birdlife Townsville (formerly the Townsville Region Bird Observers Club)
NQ Dry Tropics gratefully acknowledges the contribution of Birdlife Townsville (formerly the Townsville Region Bird Observers Club) to the information on this page.
This is a legacy website. Content is not being updated but is kept as an archive.
Updated NRM information is now held in the NQ Dry Tropics NRM Information Portal at http://nrm.nqdrytropics.com.au/.
while corporate information about NQ Dry Tropics is held on our main website at http://www.nqdrytropics.com.au