Saturday, June 16, 2012

Double-creasted? What?

It seems like every time I see a double-crested cormorant, it is flying straight-as-an-arrow, up or down the river like a Myotis out of H-E-Double-L. Of course, if I got a chance to escape Hades, I'd fly straight and true as well. Although, this is a very poor analogy because if you know your bats, you know they do not fly straight but herky-jerky.

So, let's get on with it.

Rex McDaniel actually caught cormorants at rest in the above photos.

All worldwide cormorant species belong to the family Phalacrocoracidae, from the Greek, roughly meaning: "bald, crow." They are big time fish-eaters; most live on seacoasts but some venture inland, if the fishing is good as it is here. 

I'm often asked: "Where are the double-crested's double crests?" They look pretty smooth-headed as they zip past fleeing from the fire and brimstone.

It's really only at breeding time that the mature adults sport nuptial plumes over each eye. An affectation that they quickly lose after nesting season.

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