Sexes alike. Long, snake-like neck, pointed bill and stiff, fan-shaped tail confirm identity. Adult: black above, streaked and mottled with silvery-grey on back and wings; chocolate-brown head and neck; white stripe down sides of upper neck; white chin and upper throat; entirely black below. Young: brown with rufous and silvery streaks on mantle. A bird of deep, fresh water; small numbers scattered along with Little Cormorants; highly specialized feeder, the entire structure of the bird is modified for following and capturing fish underwater; swims low in water with only head and neck uncovered; chases prey below water with wings half open, spearing a fish with sudden rapier-like thrusts made possible by bend in neck at 8th and 9th vertebrae, which acts as a spring as it straightens. Tosses fish into air and swallows it head-first. Basks on tree stumps and rocks, cormorant style.