Neotropic Cormorant — Scofflaw?

You may enlarge any image in this blog by clicking on it.  Click again for a full screen image.

The other day I featured a couple of images of Double-crested Cormorants.  Today, I’m posting images of that species’ smaller,  and in this area more frequently seen, cousin, the Neotropic Cormorant.

These somewhat odd looking birds seem to show up at every public park in the Tucson area that has a pond.  They are aquatic birds, spending much of their time in the water, where they hunt for prey including small fish and frogs.  On shore they are ungainly and awkward.  In the water they are gracefulness  personified.  One of these birds can stay submerged for at least a half minute at a time and it can swim many yards underwater.  As clumsy as they may be on land they are superbly streamlined for swimming.  They’d have to be in order to run down and capture fish.

These birds have very long necks, which they can turn and contort to a surprising degree.  They also have long, narrow, hooked beaks.  Their long and extremely flexible necks plus their beaks give them an impressive reach over a wide area of coverage that enables them to grab fish that are attempting to dart away from them.

This bird amuses me.  It was sitting on a sign that had been anchored to the bottom of a pond about 20 feet offshore.  I zoomed back in the next image in order to capture the sign’s message.

The cormorant can’t read, but even if it could, I’m certain that it would nevertheless ignore the rules.

Images made with Canon 5Diii, 100-400mm ISII zoom lens+1.4x telextender, aperture priority setting, ISO 320, f8.  The first image shot at 1/400, the second image shot at 1/500.

One response to “Neotropic Cormorant — Scofflaw?”

  1. tkiiatmindspringcom says :

    I like your phrase, “gracefulness personified.”

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