Wings on Wreck

Double-crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus)

When the tide dips below about 2.5 feet, the sunken wreck left behind by a rogue marine squatter — see post — emerges, and the Double-crested Cormorants seize the opportunity to perch. One of them stretches and airs its wings, while the other looks on.

Spreading out the wings seems obviously like a method to dry them, but there’s some controversy among bird scientists about that, see this earlier post. Both Double-crested and Pelagic Cormorants frequently visit the North Basin.

Notice the heavily webbed feet on these birds. Unlike herons and egrets, which have no webs and are surface hunters on water and land, cormorants are built for diving; they are ferocious submarine predators with great speed and navigability.

Double-crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus)

Here’s another recent photo of a cormorant airing its wings, this one on the edge of the Open Circle promontory.

Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)

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