Double-crested Cormorant flight in golden light – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 800, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
Because of the weather I haven’t been getting out to photograph lately but there is white precipitation falling this morning so perhaps I will be able to go to the local pond and photograph birds in the falling snow. I hope so, I’m getting twitchy. Really twitchy.
Last month I did have one good day for bird photography on the local pond and I photographed several different species of birds in sweet, golden afternoon light which is always a joy. One of the birds I took images of that afternoon was an immature Double-crested Cormorant that flew past me in that golden light just barely above the surface of the pond. Two days ago I was at the pond to see what species were hanging around and I saw one cormorant, I suspect it is the same bird because it was immature too.
Double-crested Cormorants are considered migratory here in northern Utah but I have seen them every month of the year, of course during the breeding season the cormorants are here in much larger numbers than they are during the winter but if the pond doesn’t freeze over completely this bird may stick around for the winter. In Florida I saw Double-crested Cormorants year round and they were more approachable than the cormorants I see here, the ones here in Utah are fairly skittish.
One thing I have noticed is that the eyes of Double-crested Cormorants here in Utah; while colorful, is that their eyes are not as vibrant or as vividly colored as the cormorants I saw and photographed in Florida.
I was happy to have this cormorant fly past me in the golden light last month and I’d be glad to photograph it again today; or any day, in the falling snow.
Life is good.
Double-crested Cormorant facts and information:
- Double-crested Cormorants are large, dark waterbirds with webbed feet, long necks, small heads, long, hooked bills and bright green to aquamarine colored eyes. When they are in breeding plumage they have two straggly crests on their heads which can be black, white or a combination of black and white.
- Double-crested Cormorants are migratory in almost all of their range except the deep south. There are exceptions though as I have seen them in Utah pretty much year round.
- Double-crested Cormorants are found throughout much of north America including some areas of Canada and Alaska and into Mexico. Double-crested Cormorants can be found in both saltwater and freshwater environments where there are enough fish to sustain them.
- The diet of Double-crested Cormorants is primarily fish based but they will also consume amphibians and crustaceans. They dive to forage for food.
- Double-crested Cormorants will lay 1 to 7 eggs which hatch in 28 to 30 days. Both sexes incubate and they are monogamous, colonial nesters.
- A group of Double-crested Cormorants can be called a “rookery”, “flight”, “gulp” or “swim” of cormorants.
- Double-crested Cormorants can live to be more than 22 years of age.