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Cormorant Drying Wings

Nadine and Bob Johnston

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Cormorant Drying Wings Photograph  - Cormorant Drying Wings Fine Art Print





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Binghamton, NY - United States

Great close-up capture, beautiful pose!

Caledon, ON - Canada

Great Shot B n N !!! V/F

Houston, TX - United States

Great capture!

Steamboat Springs, CO - United States

Classic Cormorant poise. Nice work.

Daytona Beach, FL - United States

Nice closeup!! v

Boise, ID - United States

voted 15 fabulous capture

Pune - India

Awesome shot!V

Fort Worth, TX - United States

very nice! v

Cottonwood, AZ - United States

Thank you for featuring our images in Nature Photography

Rochester, NY - United States

great the movement of opening his wings.....beautiful close up v

Ft.Lauderdale, FL - United States

Cute! I see these guys all the time here and some you can get real close to. Great shot!

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Cormorant Drying Wings


Nadine and Bob Johnston


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These Cormorants were photographed at Wilderness Lakes. Cormorants are medium-to-large seabirds. The majority, including nearly all Northern Hemisphere species, have mainly dark plumage, but some Southern Hemisphere species are black and white, and a few are quite colourful. Many species have areas of coloured skin on the face (the lores and the gular skin) which can be bright blue, orange, red or yellow, typically becoming more brightly coloured in the breeding season. The bill is long, thin, and sharply hooked. Their feet have webbing between all four toes, as in their relatives.

They are coastal rather than oceanic birds, and some have colonized inland waters - indeed, the original ancestor of cormorants seems to have been a fresh-water bird, judging from the habitat of the most ancient lineage. They range around the world, except for the central Pacific islands.

All are fish-eaters, dining on small eels, fish, and even water snakes. They dive from the surface, though many species make a characteristic half-jump as they dive, presumably to give themselves a more streamlined entry into the water. Under water they propel themselves with their feet. Some cormorant species have been found, using depth gauges, to dive to depths of as much as 45 meters.

After fishing, cormorants go ashore, and are frequently seen holding their wings out in the sun. All cormorants have preen gland secretions that are used ostensibly to keep the feathers waterproof. Some sources state that cormorants have waterproof feathers while others say that they have water permeable feathers. Still others suggests that the outer plumage absorbs water but does not permit it to penetrate the layer of air next to the skin. The wing drying action is seen even in the flightless cormorant but commonly in the Antarctic shags and red-legged cormorants. Alternate functions suggested for the spread-wing posture include that it aids thermo-regulation, digestion, balances the bird or indicates presence of fish. A detailed study of the Great Cormorant concludes that it is without doubt to dry the plumage.

Cormorants are colonial nesters, using trees, rocky islets, or cliffs. The eggs are a chalky-blue color. There is usually one brood a year. The young are fed through regurgitation. They typically have deep, ungainly bills, showing a greater resemblance to those of the pelicans', to which they are related, than is obvious in the adults.


April 17th, 2012


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