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Thread subject: you birders out there --
Name Date Message
Nancy L 04/05/10 10:27 am What is that duck-like bird on the Reservoir in Central Park in Lincoln's latest display?'
Palemale.com.
Melanie 04/05/10 11:07 am Double Crested Cormorant.
Nancy L 04/05/10 11:13 am Thanks --- I've never seen one.
Melanie 04/05/10 12:08 pm They normally don't look quite that fancy. Must have his best plumage on for the ladies ;-p
martyc35 04/05/10 12:38 pm Hee! I'll bet he thinks he's super handsome that way, but compared to his splendid dark silhouette in the later shot, he just looks silly. They are impressive birds, especially when breeding or sitting around with outspread wings, drying off after diving. We have lots of them out here, up and down the coast and inland lakes. I never get tired of looking at them. Remember that cam that used to focus on a whole lot of cormorants somewhere near Nauvo in Finland? They took that cam down, I guess.
marty
Tim P 04/05/10 12:53 pm Nancy you can see them at a lot of docks along the bay on the south shore. Only in recent years have I been seeing them.
I'm not sure if they were once summer inhabitants of this area and have returned. But they are here now. I have not yet seen any young or do I know if they nest here. I only see them in spring & summer months as adults.
terryo 04/05/10 01:21 pm I've taken a few pixs of them the last couple of years on the Carmans. I usually see them sitting on a dock with their wings open as they are drying them out after time in the water (their feathers aren't waterproof). They also have rebounded nicely after DDT poisoning had nearly wiped them out.
Shelley 04/05/10 03:24 pm We have cormorants here in Toronto. I was on a hike last year and the guide showed us their nests in the trees. Holy crow! TONS of nests in each tree! You'd think they'd be too big and heavy for a tree to support so many nests but it was like condo city!

cormorant colony

Yep, those *dots* on the trees in the distance are nests!

There is a problem, though, as they are destroying the very land and habitat that have helped make them so abundant. This is a big issue and no end of controversy here:

cormorant problem

I guess I didn't recognize it from the pic on Palemale today but I don't think I ever got close enough to see the *ear*-like tufts! But standing near their trees was something! Their colony here is apparently the largest cormorant colony on the Great Lakes
Melanie 04/05/10 11:22 pm Having encountered a nesting colony of them when banding Brown Pelicans I am quite content to just see them in pictures. Not only do they have a very serious attitude problem and can lay your hand open with that wicked hook on the end of their bills, but their guano is very caustic and does eventually destroy wherever they roost. There was a pond near my mother's on Cape Cod where the cormorants would all roost on utility lines at night. They literally killed whatever lived in the pond in a very short time. Same for some of the little islands on Lake Champlain. They poop, watch things shrivel up and move on.
Marie 04/06/10 01:51 pm funny thing is...out west our Pelagic and D/C cormorants all nest on rock on islands. The D/C's make a raised basket affair at the crest of the rocks and the Pelagic make a nest of seaweed and small sticks lower down...a real pecking order it seems. Being smaller in the cormorant species means lower priced real estate designation, cliff ledges or what ever! I haven't seen where the Brandt's cormorants nest, but I bet it is much the same breeding arrangements, since they are the largest cormorants on the west coast. The D/C do fly over land and roost inland in trees along the rivers at night. As Melanie said, their guano is very corrosive and the trees and surrounding dirt below where they roost look very dead!
martyc35 04/06/10 03:07 pm Yes, Marie, I've seen them on islands here, too, and that flock of nesters that we used to see in Finland just covered a whole island, which was quite an impressive sight.
marty
Nancy L 04/06/10 06:06 pm Well, thanks for all that info. I've seen many cormorants, but never that beautiful one that Lincoln photographed. I know they do roost in trees, because I've seen them at the edge of the Connetquot River - a whole
'gang' of them up in the trees. I'll have to be more observant, Tim, & maybe I'll get to see one around here.

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