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Wednesday, 27 September 2017

The cormorant tree

We hear the swoosh of wing and air as they fly over the house in v formation on their way to and from the harbour. We see them in the distance, sat on the breakwater and the lighthouse, as we walk on the boardwalk by the bay in Summerside.




We see them flapping their wings to dry them as they rest along an inlet. 




However, we have never seen them this way.



Double crested cormorants are fishers with webbed feet. Our experiences with them have always been by the sea, so it was unusual to see them in a tree, 





with the webbed feet draped down over the branches.




This spruce tree was by the side of Stewart’s Pond on the Westmoreland River. It is part of a new nature park on the river which is in the Westmoreland Watershed. People and cormorants fish in the pond for rainbow and brook trout. 


My husband and I watched these pre-historic looking birds for a long time as they preened themselves on their lofty perches. 




The yellow-orange at the base off the beak is the only colour on these birds, whose necks and breasts are tinged with white. There is a natural fish hook at the end of the beak.




While we explored the park, the cormorants swooped into the water. We saw them through the trees, disappearing into the water to fish, surfacing a distance away. 


No catch and release for these fishers!




34 comments:

  1. Fascinating pictures. They do look unusual perched in the tree.

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    1. The webbed feet make them look out of place to me, Mildred.

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  2. They are sure interesting birds. I wonder why they were in the tree instead of using their webbed feet as intended. :-)

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    1. I think they watch for the fish to jump, Jan. Fish were jumping that day.

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    1. They are interesting creatures, Joanne.

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  4. wow!! what an awesome sight, how nice you were able to capture this with your camera!!!

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    1. Debbie, any time I photograph a bird I think of you and what a great job you would do in that situation. You are my role model.

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  5. We see them (and their relatives the darters) in trees often. A better vantage point?
    Stunning photos. Thank you.

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    1. The webbed feet on the branches looks unusual to me, EC.

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  6. Fun to watch the cormorants with you. They are fishing machines that's for sure. I love your Header!

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    1. Thanks, Barb. The new header has compressed the text in the comments. I may not keep it.

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  7. Amazing photos Marie that show these amazing cormorants. Very nice indeed!

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    1. Thanks, Bill. I enjoy watching cormorants. They are unusual looking!

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  8. Wonderful stuff. I love cormorants. There used to be a few that visited the pond I liked to visit. Every time I went there I hoped they'd be there waiting for me.

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    1. We went back to this area again to see if the cormorants were there. Sadly, they were not, Ratty.

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  9. Well that's a first for me too Marie. We see lots of cormorants too, but never up in trees! Must have had a good view of the water and possible meal choices 😊

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  10. Interesting looking birds! I wish our lake had less seagulls, more pretty birds lol!

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    1. Seagulls can be interesting is there are a number of species. I like to watch them along a beach, especially the young ones, Jenn.

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  11. Lovely. We have them here too perched on the rocks along the ocean.

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    1. I saw them in San Diego when we were there years ago, Mage.

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  12. I see these not pretty to look upon birds mainly around marinas. Excellent divers, indeed. It seems they can dive very deep.

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    1. I try to predict where they will surface from a dive, Catarina. I am never right.

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  13. Excellent pictures! We have cormorants nearby but they live next to a causeway and there is no stopping allowed, so it's impossible to get photos. You did a wonderful job. And they do look funny in the trees with those webbed feet, don't they? I wonder if they ever tip over? :)

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    1. We went back again to look for them and they weren't there, Jenny. We were fortunate to see them when we did! I imagine they would flap and fly if they tipped over.

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  14. We see the cormorants here in Gorinchem, NL, Marie, and I love them...especially when they spread out their wings to dry. They can stand that way for minutes on end, just drying off. It still amazes me. But if I ever saw them in a tree, I'd be just like you...gobsmacked! :)

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    1. When you write NL, my first thought is Newfoundland/Labrador, which has the same abbreviation. I love to watch them drying off too.

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  15. Amazing to see so many cormorants in one go, we only have a few in the bay. We have just been away on holiday and saw a lighthouse similar in design to the one above. I wonder which one was built first. Sarah x

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  16. I've seen then high in a dead tree here along the river I sometimes paddle.

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