A Neotropic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax brasilianus) stands on a log while drying off his wings at White Rock Lake in Dallas, Texas. Unlike ducks, cormorants’ feathers are not very waterproof. While having water resistant feathers protects a bird’s body from getting soaked, this oily coating isn’t good for diving. Cormorants’ feathers instead get waterlogged, allowing the bird to sink and dive more efficiently. Their solid bodies and dense bones also contribute to their excellent diving skills. While pros at swimming, the cormorants’ waterlogged feathers often make it look as if they are struggling in water. They often have just their faces and necks above the water’s surface and, after a dip, perch in trees or sit on rocks with their wings open to dry their feathers in the sun. Neotropic Cormorants can dive to depths of 25 feet. Some cormorant species can reportedly dive to an astounding depth of 150 feet, which makes them some of the deepest diving birds around.
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