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The Piscivorous Double-crested Cormorant

 

 

Visit the any U.S. shoreline or inland waterway and you are sure to find this ubiquitous bird. It is one of the oldest birds; its ancestors date back to the dinosaurs.

The cormorant has an insatiable appetite for fish. It is a superb swimmer, using its powerful legs and webbed feet to propel itself under water to forage for fish, frogs and crustaceans. When chasing fish, it often uses its hooked beak to grasp fish.

Cormorant feathers are less water resistant than other birds which gives it an advantage at swimming under water. However, wet feathers are also a drawback. The Cormorant needs to perch out in the open with its wings outstretched to dry them off and to warm itself up.

If you see a large dark duck-like bird with outstretched wings in your lake or shore, it may be the cormorant. But be careful, the anhinga is another bird inhabiting the same waterways that also dries it wings the same way. But unlike the cormorant with its broad hooked bill, the anhinga is sleeker and has a pointed bill. (See my blog entitled: Water Turkeys in Florida)

2 comments on “The Piscivorous Double-crested Cormorant

  1. great close-ups. love the eyes

    Like

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