A waterbird with a very long, slender, snakelike neck, and a long, pointed bill. Breeding adults have a shiny black body with silvery-white streaks along the wings, a brownish crown and neck, and a white stripe running from the eye to the side of the neck. Nonbreeding and immature plumage is duller and browner. Frequently seen swimming with only its neck and head visible above the water. Impales fish underwater with its daggerlike bill. Like cormorants, often perches upright on a rock, drying itself with outstretched wings. Seen singly or in small groups in inland or coastal water bodies. Usually silent.