Friday, October 30, 2009

Double-Crested Cormorants

Double-crested Cormorants
This pair of juvenile Cormorants put down at our lake for a day about two weeks ago, when we had some early snowsqualls. Their outer plumage is not entirely waterproof, so maybe they needed to dry off? Or maybe they were tired and hungry. Whatever the case, they are not commonly seen here. My last sighting was a few years ago, when three adults migrating through in the spring stopped in for a quick feed. The adults are a deep, lustrous black. They swim really low in the water, more in the water than on it. They look kind of like big black snakes coming down the lake. This species takes forever to get airborne. It's quite a production. It takes them like half a mile to gain fifty feet of altitude, then they turn back and do huge circle on top of circle on top of circle overhead until they can clear the hills and blow on out of Dodge. Context shot here. Enlargement of this shot here.