Long pointed bill, small head, very long slender ('snaky') neck, and long fan-shaped tail. Male glossy black with large silvery area on wing; tail tipped with brown. Female similar but with head, neck, and chest pale brown.
Habits and Behavior
Usually seen perched on branches of bushes and trees bordering water, often with wings outstretched to dry its non-water repellant plumage. Normal flight consists of long gliding alternating with flapping, but also soars on flat wings a great deal (be aware that cormorants also occasionally soar). Swims in the water, frequently with only its snake-like head and neck visible, diving for food while swimming.