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Cormorant

Juvenile Cormorant takes in the morning sun

When I first saw this bird, and a couple others like it, I wasn’t sure exactly what it was. I have taken many pics of Double-crested Cormorants but had never seen a juvenile. It’s gray coloring, vice the black on an adult, threw me for a bit of a loop until I looked it up and figured out exactly what it was.

I like this image too because it does a nice job showing the Cormorant’s webbed feet which are amazingly dexterous, something you would not expect. Taken at Jackson Lake State Park, Colorado.

A juvenile Double-crested Cormorant looks toward the sun. (© Tony’s Takes)

A juvenile Double-crested Cormorant looks toward the sun. (© Tony’s Takes)

Triple launch of Double-crested Cormorants

While taking pictures of these birds sunning in a tree on the plains of northeastern Colorado, they suddenly decided it was time to fly.  By sheer chance I captured all three of them just after they leapt into the air.  I really like this picture and think it almost seems like a stacked image of a single bird in three different spots as it launched into the air.

Three Double-crested Cormorants take to the air at the same time. (© Tony’s Takes)

Three Double-crested Cormorants take to the air at the same time. (© Tony’s Takes)

Hey! Look at me!

A Double-crested Cormorant appears to be showing off for one of its roost-mates. In actuality it had just landed after going fishing and was spreading its wings to dry itself off.

A Double-crested Cormorant appears to be showing off for one of its roost-mates.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Double-crested Cormorant appears to be showing off for one of its roost-mates. (© Tony’s Takes)

“Whoa! Watch where you shoot that stuff!”

I guess if you are a bird, this is a lesson in how to be very careful where you choose to stand. 😉

This particular tree was a haven for these cool looking birds as up to a half dozen of them would take turns resting and sunning themselves on a hot day on the Colorado plains.

These birds are common in the area during the summer. During the winter they head to the warmer climes of the Gulf Coast and the adjacent states. You can learn more about these Cormorants here.

A Double-crested Cormorant quickly performs evasive maneuvers to avoid being hit by its roost-mates’ “waste.” (© Tony’s Takes)

A Double-crested Cormorant quickly performs evasive maneuvers to avoid being hit by its roost-mates’ “waste.” (© Tony’s Takes)

Congregation of Cormorants

I have spent almost every weekend of the first half of summer for 15 years at Jackson and this is the first time I have seen this. We always see Double-crested Cormorants hanging around but never in the numbers we saw this weekend.

Dozens upon dozens (hundreds?) of them on the water. A very unusual scene but also kind of cool. Not sure why they chose to congregate here in these numbers.

Taken yesterday at Jackson Lake State Park in northeastern Colorado.

Double-crested Cormorants take to the skies at Jackson Lake State Park in Colorado.  (© Tony’s Takes)

Double-crested Cormorants take to the skies at Jackson Lake State Park in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Double-crested Cormorants take to the skies at Jackson Lake State Park in Colorado.  (© Tony’s Takes)

Double-crested Cormorants take to the skies at Jackson Lake State Park in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Double-crested Cormorants take to the skies at Jackson Lake State Park in Colorado.  (© Tony’s Takes)

Double-crested Cormorants take to the skies at Jackson Lake State Park in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Double-crested cormorants put on a show for mating season

Having picked out a nest site, a male cormorant opens its mouth and shows off for a just-arrived female.  This was a fun bit of interaction to watch recently in Lakewood, Colorado, USA.  The male had a few sticks in place as it started work on a home.  The female would come and the male would put on a show for it.

These cool birds are a bit odd looking but also pretty neat.  Their bright orange bills and aquamarine eyes and mouths contrast with the dark plumage.  These two are clearly breeding as they have tufted plumes on top of their heads.  When not breeding, their heads are smooth without the tufts.

Double-crested cormorants put on a show for mating season. (© Tony’s Takes)

Double-crested cormorants put on a show for mating season. (© Tony’s Takes)

Double-crested Cormorant flyby

Another sign of spring arriving is the return of the Cormorants.  These birds are a bit ‘goofy’ looking but I really like them.  Their bright bill, the attention-getting turquoise eyes and their well-defined feathers just look cool and make for great pics.  I took this image a couple days ago as one was flying over a pond in Adams County, Colorado, USA.

A Double-crested Cormorant flies through the sky with ease.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Double-crested Cormorant flies through the sky with ease. (© Tony’s Takes)

I can fly!

A Double-Crested Cormorant launches from its roost.

A cormorant launches from a tree in northeastern Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A cormorant launches from a tree in northeastern Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Nest building double crested cormorant

I’m not sure why but I find these relatives of boobies pretty darned cool.  Their dark feathers, orange beaks and amazing turquoise eyes are just pretty cool. There is a massive rookery of them at Denver City Park and they are a lot of fun to watch.

A nest building double crested cormorant today in Denver City Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

A nest building double crested cormorant today in Denver City Park. (© Tony’s Takes)