So today’s photographs are from the weekend walk up at Boomer Lake. It was the first time that I was actually able to get some good pictures of some of the migrating birds. One thing that I had on my “bird bucket list” was to get a good picture of the cormorant. I had thought it was the double-crested cormorant for awhile, but according to the weekend paper, it has actually been the neotropic cormorant that I’d been seeing.
So what are some interesting facts?
They can sit low in the water like a loon (I’ve mistaken a cormorant swimming for a loon several times this winter. I only knew the difference when they took off into flight).
They can be found sitting in trees (I was amazed when I saw them in the trees the first time this winter—I don’t usually associate aquatic birds with sitting in trees; even though I’ve seen the great blue heron fly up into the trees as well).
They eat mainly small fish, which they catch underwater. Though they can also eat tadpoles, frogs, and aquatic insects.
This is the only cormorant species know to plunge-dive to catch fish. It isn’t very successful as it only catches 1 in every 6-10 plunges (and it only plunges from less than 2 feet over the water).
During mating season, they have a clutch of 3-4 eggs (on average). The young are able to swim and dive by two months, stay with the parents for another three weeks and then are independent by three months. The nests of the birds (as they are a colony bird) are usually in trees or bushes (either live or dead), and if they’re on an island the nests could be on the ground (if there are no suitable trees or bushes).
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