Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cormorant Closeup

The big water birds really do come out after a big storm! While I was at the back of the park checking on the dam, and to see how high the water level had gotten, I was surprised to see this Double-Crested Cormorant sitting right up close.

I couldn't believe my eyes! My camera's low battery indicator had begun to flash at me again, but I couldn't stop to change batteries now! I had to get pictures of this bird because this might be the only chance I would ever have to get any this close ever again. This was a dream come true!

I think I surprised the cormorant as much as he surprised me, because he seemed to be very confused about what to do now. He kept moving his head from the left and to the right as if he was wondering which way to go. I could tell he wanted desperately to leave, but he was worried I might catch him if he moved.

These birds normally stay very far from humans while they're out here. If they're in the water, they never come up close to beg for food with the geese or ducks. The perches they choose are always out at a far away area on the water where nobody can get to them. If a human seems too close, they always swim to another part of the lake.

I really love the black color of these double-crested cormorants. You know, the word cormorant comes from the Latin word corvus marinus, which means sea crow. I guess that makes a lot of sense because of the black color of both birds. Although the cormorant looks considerably uglier than a crow.

Really, look at that goony face of this cormorant. I wouldn't say this bird is beautiful like a swan or even a goose or duck. The shape of every animal's face has a purpose though. A cormorant's face and beak are made just especially for catching fish. They actually look similar to a pelican or other fishing bird. Don't you wonder what a cormorant looks like when it's fishing?

After I stole about a hundred pictures from this cormorant, it finally decided which way it wanted to go when it made its escape. It slowly turned towards its left so I wouldn't notice. Then when it was in just the right position, it jumped into the water to escape to freedom. Just like the egret yesterday, I wasn't quite fast enough to get the picture.

I have now shown you cormorants doing very many different things in my posts, as I came across these guys. I wonder what else I might be able to show you. Could there be anything else? I guess we'll all find out when the time comes. I really like these cormorants, no matter how ugly they might seem sometimes.

18 comments:

  1. Hi Ratty-looks like he/she is in imminent danger!

    I always enjoy birding shots.

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  2. Hi Ratty, great post with great pictures as usual. I must disagree with you on the ugliness of the Cormorant though. I think they are quite nice looking as far as big water birds go- definitely better looking than a crow as well!
    Well done for getting those pictures so close, they are crackers!

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  3. He saw danger before him and wanted to escape. I also think they are pretty birds. I like the sleek look.

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  4. this was a great informative post ratty and the pics, wow, you did get some good close ups! very nice.

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  5. The Cormorant signals the danger to you. There must be something behind. Be careful.

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  6. Love these pictures. what a pretty bird! Great info!

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  7. Yeah, not so cute that guy. But lovable! :)

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  8. Ratty

    He's so interesting looking. Never seen one up close myself.

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  9. Mike - He thought he was in danger as soon as I showed up. I'm not sure he cared about the danger posts. :)
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    Bemused - I was mostly teasing about the cormorants being ugly. They have become some of my favorite creatures. I like crows too though.
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    Poetic Shutterbug - I kept seeing the danger too, over and over. I agree about the way they look, except for that face closeup. They look absolutely beautiful while they're swimming.
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    PJ - I got extremely lucky to get the closeups. I'm glad that bird was there.
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    Rainfield - The cormorant signaled the danger, and I saw danger in bright orange whenever I looked at it. I was too slow in the brain to understand though. :)
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    Ashley - I was glad the cormorant stayed long enough for me to get them.
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    Lin - He looks good as long as you don't get a close look at his face. :)
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    Dr. Lauren - He's the first one I have ever seen up close too, so I'm glad I could share him.

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  10. wow, that is very interesting, seems like "how it got there exactly?" but yet, it was there!

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  11. I can't believe he did not read those signs!! You should have warned him! Oh that's right. MUST GET PICTURE.

    I know how that is. :)

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  12. Fantastic shot !! Really loved the bird standing over and near the danger..:)..Unseen Rajasthan

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  13. Cool birds. Haven't seen one up close. They do look like sea crow.

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  14. Great shots Ratty, it is very rare to get that close to a cormorant.
    They really are a lovely bird, this one does look a little confused.

    Thanks for the great post,
    SQ

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  15. Those are great close-up photos! I've not seen a Cormorant in person before!

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  16. These Cormorant really looks like a crow. It really likes to play with danger :)

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  17. The Cormorant is not ugly...I really think he is neat. I love how it looks like he is checking the level of the water too...He is saying: "Hmmm, wonder if this storm gave us enough water to stir up some hungry fish?!"
    Great catch on camera, Ratty...now go and charge the darn battery!!!

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  18. Betchai - The water birds really like to swim around that area by the dam. I've never seen one perched there before though.
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    Julia - That's right. The pictures are always the most important thing.
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    Unseen Rajasthan - The bird thought Iwas more danger than those signs. :)
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    TC - That's the first one I've ever seen up close too.
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    SquirrelQueen - I think I got extremely lucky to get that close to that cormorant that day. I kind of surprised him.
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    Icy BC - I've seen cormorants in two different places now, but I suspect they might be the same birds.
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    VanillaSeven - Now I have to get a shot of a real crow. :)
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    The Retired One - I agree that it's not really an ugly bird, but it does look rather strange. He jumped into the water to catch some fish right after.

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