Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Monday goodies/Wildlife wednesday: Cormorants

After my last Monday post, Thérèse asked for cormorants. I've got cormorants. I've got cormorants to spare.

Cormorant-human relations can be a tricky thing. In some areas, they're considered pests because of their droppings, stealing fish from anglers, or just sheer numbers. In China, however, anglers have actually used cormorants for thousands of years to help them fish. Kind of like feathered, swimming, really goofy-looking hunting dogs.

For us, they're just a blast to watch. I don't know if any of you are Dr. Seuss fans, but one of my son's favorites used to be On Beyond Zebra. One of the pages talks about "nutches," which guard their perches thusly:

It always reminds me of this:

They act like it too -- that one cormorant is in flight because no one will let it on its perch. Also, their call sounds a lot like a belch. Add to that the fact that when one does get dislodged from its branch, it bumps off the next one, and that one careens into two or three more, and so on, and they all call out when disturbed; and you have a fluttering, silhouetted symphony of burps every evening. Best nature walk ever if you have a kid; trust me.

Here, have a few more:

Hooray for cormorants. And see, I do requests! Ask away.

Happy beginning/mid week.


Christina Wilsdon said... Best Blogger Tips

Love the pix--cormorants may belch but they sure make wonderful silhouettes. The only poem I can recite happens to be about cormorants, so that's another reason I'm fond of the snaky things. The eye on that closeup picture is so gorgeous!!

Kim Hosey said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks! I like the closeup one too. They are snarky, aren't they.

Is your poem "The Cormorant in its Element" by chance? That's the only cormorant poem I know, though I certainly don't have it memorized.

Thérèse said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks a zillion time! You have it all: silhouettes, blue eyes... everything. I love it.
Such a humour in cormorans!
and yes I am a fan of Dr Seuss.

Agrigirl said... Best Blogger Tips

These are great photos. Who would've known that up close they have blue eyes? Can't say I've given a lot of thoughts to cormorants.

Christina Wilsdon said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Kim, nope, the one I know, somehow memorized sometime in childhood, goes like this (typed w/o verse form but as it rhymes you can see where lines end clearly): "The common cormorant, or shag, lays eggs inside a paper bag. The reason you will see, no doubt, it is to keep the lightning out. But what these unobservant birds have never noticed is that herds of wandering bears may come with buns and steal the bags to hold the crumbs."

tsj480 said... Best Blogger Tips

We are considering buying a waterfront home @ Sun Lakes, Palo Verde, and were recently introduced to the comorants that live in the area, and seem to be nesting in the large trees outside of our property, along with some ble herons. It was almost dark, and we heard what we thought was a bullfrong/tree frog. Too our surprise, the neigbors told us about the birds. We came back just before sunset the next nite, so see 40-50 of them land in surrounding trees, with the blue herons. What a site! What a noisy, but delightful group of birds. Some of which, do NOT know which ones for sure, were feeding their young. So glad you were here, because I was not finding much info about them in AZ!