When one bird catches a fish, it gets the attention of all in the area and such was the case here. Another cormorant had caught a fish so these two quickly took flight, hoping to either steal the other’s catch or in hopes there were more to be found. It was kind of fun to see the two contrasts in color and size as they flew low and fast across the pond.
Here in Colorado, if you see one of these species of birds, you are likely to see the other. They have a somewhat symbiotic relationship with both using the other to help spot fish. Oftentimes that does create rather calamitous scenes with both types of birds fighting over the same meal, something I have photographed and shown you before.
Yesterday morning, the scene was a good bit calmer. There were some rushes to get to the fish but generally, both seemed to enjoy a quiet spring morning on the plains, circling the lake. For me, I just pulled up a spot on the shoreline and sat and watched, enjoying the quiet.
I always joke that I don’t photograph “little birds” because they are boring. That isn’t entirely true. While I may not focus on them regularly, when the opportunity is there I certainly will snap pics of them. They just require more patience than I have most times. 😉 Some, like hummingbirds, are a real challenge while the American white pelican is kind of goofy looking but just beautiful.
A very fun sequence of pics that I took a few months ago but never shared. The American white pelicans were just returning to Colorado for the season and a bunch were hanging out at a local pond with the double-crested cormorants. After their long flight, all were very hungry and looking hard for a meal.
Any bird that caught a fish was soon besieged by the entire group as they looked to horn in on the action. At one point, the pelicans and cormorants congregated in one corner of the pond to fish. A cormorant caught itself a little shad and that was enough to catch one pelican’s attention.
The bigger bird’s attempt to steal the fish resulted in it’s monstrous beak entirely enveloping the cormorants head! I don’t know that either ended up with the fish but it certainly had to be a traumatic event for the cormorant. 😉
I admit, after being in the military, I eat pretty fast but these guys beat me hands down. 😉
While the rest of my camping crew slept in yesterday, I was sitting on the edge of a pond, enjoying the warm morning, sipping coffee and taking pictures. There wasn’t too much action but enough to keep me entertained.
It was a lot of fun to watch these guys fish and invariably then get besieged by pelicans trying to steal their meal. Certainly, their ability to swallow their catch quickly and whole worked to their advantage in those cases.
Holy cow! What an insane scene this was!
Yesterday my buddy noticed a huge, black mass along the shore of a local pond. As we approached, we realize it is 100+ cormorants, all huddled together. I have never seen so many in a single spot before.
They soon realized they were being watched and when one took flight, and in a flurry of flapping wings and splashing water, they all took flight. What you see here is maybe a quarter of the number of the birds that were in this spot.
Well, this was a crazy scene I witnessed yesterday. After receiving my second dose of the COVID vaccine (Moderna), I decided to go for a walk around a local open space. There, I came across this very odd gathering of birds.
In the corner of the pond there were 30+ pelicans, 10+ great blue herons, a few cormorants and even a great egret – all gathered together in a very small area.
Seeing that many pelicans in one area isn’t unusual as they fish in groups. However, great blue herons don’t usually hang out together unless nesting and usually aren’t inclined to tolerate other creatures. I don’t know, but I am guessing a bunch of fish had gathered in the area and everyone was having a feast; that is the only thing that would seem to make sense.
It was definitely something I haven’t witnessed before. It didn’t last long as soon after I started photographing, someone came along the path and that was enough to scare them off resulting in this crazy cacophony of activity. You can see each of the birds I mentioned if you look close.
When no one is looking, it’s okay to scratch your butt, right? 😀 I couldn’t resist but this American white #pelican seemed to take advantage of the fact his cormorant buddies were sounds asleep.
Check out this cool dude (or dudette)! It was kind enough to sit still for me along the shore of a local pond yesterday morning.
These birds are pretty common here in the summer and can be found around just about any body of water. Their bright orange beak and those crazy turquoise eyes are just awesome. Also notable are their webbed feet which are actually quite dexterous allowing them to land in trees.
I haven’t had much of a chance to photograph these cool guys yet this year but got a few shots this past weekend. With light snow falling and light at a premium, I managed a decent shot of this double-crested #cormorant as it took flight across the waters of a pond.