My Bird Blog: A blog about my birding discoveries, bird feeders, birds on my life lists, and all things bird related

Sue's Bird Blog Archives

Double-crested Cormorant at Sinking Ponds

Published June 26, 2012
Tags: Life List Happenings, Double-crested Cormorant, Belted Kingfisher, Wood Duck, Green Heron, Sinking Ponds, East Aurora, NY

I took a quick trip to Sinking Ponds in East Aurora this evening, hoping to get a few shots of the Belted Kingfisher.  I did see the Kingfisher - well, actually - I saw TWO Kingfishers tonight: both the male AND the female. It was the first time I've seen the male there.

The real treat and surprise of the evening, though, was a life list addition: a Double-crested Cormorant! A juvenile, I believe, due to his lighter coloring. This is quite a unique bird with the most brilliant aquamarine eyes I've ever seen on a bird. Beautiful!  Many thanks to Joanna, who kindly helped with his identification and some interesting facts.

I just read up about my new bird friend and found out that the Cormorant is a relative of frigate birds and boobies and eats mainly fish. They have less preen oil than other birds, so they need to dry out their wet feathers after being in the water. This bird is also solid-boned, making him rather heavy and a low floater in the water.  These 2 things combine to make the cormorant a swift and agile diver and underwater swimmer. I didn't get to see this guy do any diving but he did go in the water and then spread his wings magnificently afterwards to dry out - giving me some nice photo ops!

One more cool fact: the inside of the Double-crested Cormorant's mouth is bright blue! I didn't get to confirm that, though!

I got a few photos of the two Belted Kingfishers too, but not the great quality shots I was hoping for.  I will try again.  In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the few photos of the pair that I'm posting - even a couple of the little fishy meal the male caught...
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Double-crested Cormorant
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Double-crested Cormorant
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Double-crested Cormorant riding low in the water due to his solid and heavier bones.
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Double-crested Cormorant spreading his wings to dry after a dip in the pond
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Double-crested Cormorant
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Double-crested Cormorant
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Male Northern Flicker (Yellow Shafted)
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A badly backlit photo of a Green Heron. He was just too close not to try!
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Momma Wood Duck and 5 of her 9 ducklings
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A young mallard, I believe...
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The female Belted Kingfisher
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A male Belted Kingfisher with a fresh catch of a small fish
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Male Belted Kingfisher
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A quiet respite after a big dinner...
Reply from: Will and Alex on 6/27/2012 3:29 PM
 Dear Grammy, we love you. Thanks for the Double-Breasted Cormorant birds and the pictures. We love all the bird facts.
Reply from: Will and Alex on 6/27/2012 3:30 PM
 Oops...double CRESTED