Double-crested Cormorant with its Catch – The Story Behind the Images

/, California Gulls, Double-crested Cormorants, Salt Lake County, Utah/Double-crested Cormorant with its Catch – The Story Behind the Images

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I went out shooting yesterday at two different locations, once at Farmington Bay in the morning, then twice at a pond near where I live, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. The day was sunny, cool and bright and I knew that bad weather (for bird photography anyway) was coming in so I felt like I needed to make the most of the day.

I’ll post some images later that I took using my new tripod set up but today I wanted to share some images of a Double-crested Cormorant from yesterday afternoon at the pond.

Double-crested Cormorant with a large fishDouble-crested Cormorant with a large fish – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/800, ISO 320, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

There have been several late migrating Double-crested Cormorants at the pond and I photographed a few of them yesterday morning but the action I saw and photographed in the afternoon was much more interesting. When I first got to the pond I saw one of the Double-crested Cormorants up close with a large fish that it was struggling with. Soon another cormorant joined it and they both keep dropping the fish back into the water, fighting with each other and catching it again. The fish was alive at first.

Double-crested Cormorant swimming close upDouble-crested Cormorant swimming close up – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/800, ISO 320, -0.7 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

The cormorants would let go of the fish and then dive to capture it again. The action was happening close up and fast so I didn’t have time to take my teleconverter off. I wish I had been able to.

The blue sky overhead reflected nicely on the water and turned it the most delicious shades of blue.

California Gull and a large fishCalifornia Gull and a large fish – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1250, ISO 320, -0.7 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

The California Gulls that frequent the pond also tried to catch the fish but I think they kept dropping it because the fish was heavy. This image would have been wonderful if I would have had my teleconverter off because I could have gotten all of the gull’s body instead of clipping so much of it.

Double-crested Cormorant with its catchDouble-crested Cormorant with its catch – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1000, ISO 320, -0.7 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

One of the cormorants caught the fish again…

Double-crested Cormorant about to swallow a fishDouble-crested Cormorant about to swallow a fish – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1000, ISO 320, -0.7 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

But turned away as it swallowed the large fish whole so I didn’t get any great images of that action. I wish I had!

Double-crested Cormorant splashing after eatingDouble-crested Cormorant splashing after eating – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1250, ISO 320, -0.7 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

After the Double-crested Cormorant swam away it started splashing its wings on the water and created a wake behind it.

It was fun photographing this Double-crested Cormorant with its catch yesterday afternoon close to home especially since I knew the weather was going to take a turn.

Life is good.

Mia.

9 Comments

  1. Pepe Forte December 13, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    Great series of shots Mia. I didn’t think a cormorant could take on a fish of that size. Amazing! Where there’s a will…there’s a way, I guess. Thanks.

  2. Utahbooklover December 13, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    Nice series with the close ups! I would have liked to see the swallowing too.

  3. Elephant's Child December 13, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    That is one BIG mouthful (and meal).

  4. Spencer and Emily December 13, 2016 at 9:31 am

    Your pictures are awesome. I like the closeness of the shot and the clarity. Would have loved to see the fish fight.

  5. Bill Lindner December 13, 2016 at 9:17 am

    Wonder if they can fly immediately after consuming such a large meal?

  6. Patty Chadwick December 13, 2016 at 9:04 am

    Seems impossible…

  7. Liz Cormack December 13, 2016 at 7:22 am

    Great shots. You wonder how they can swallow a fish almost the size of their heads but they do.

  8. Bob McPherson December 13, 2016 at 6:50 am

    Amazing photos, Mia. I guess size doesn’t matter for the Cormorants. Thats a pretty large looking fish.

  9. Esther Iglich December 13, 2016 at 6:23 am

    Wonderful shots! Great to see the action.

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