At first I simply saw an amber speck moving across the frame of my camera.
Then I could make out an oval shape…
And a yellow bill? Yes, a bill it is, by golly!
Next, splish-splash, the water’s moving behind this shape, I can make out a jet ski water arc…
And it’s a bird! A Cormorant? Yes, it’s our buddy Corbel the Double-Crested Cormorant! I’ve never captured him in a flight for Arthurpix.com before, so here he is!
Some waterbirds and shorebirds may look prehistoric, but Corbel truly is a prehistoric bird, descended from a line of very similar Cormorants that stretches all the way back to the Triassic Period, when dinosaurs ruled the earth.
Perhaps this is why Cormorants are only partially oily—in between fishing trips, it’s common to see them sunning on rocks with wings spread to dry. So, if Corbel’s got to do this, wouldn’t his semi-oily status be an evolutionary disadvantage? How did he survive for so many millions of years?
Well, some researchers these days think partial-oiliness may actually be a clever niche in our ecosystem! Because he’s not too oily, he may be able to dive deeper than ducks and loons, finding fish, eels and even water snakes that eva
He’s such a successful fisher that it’s been said he poses a threat to some fish species—but he’s been here longer than almost anyone else, so it’s quite unfair, I think, to call him invasive. Here on the Central East Coast of the United States, we’ll almost never see why he’s called “Double Crested,” because his breeding grounds are in the upper Mid-Western States and Canadian Provinces.
Please let me know which frame you like best. And thank you, dear Follower—you’re the best!