There are a number of reasons why I decided to take on this project. My first reason has to do with my interest in birds. This began shortly after moving to Victoria ten and a half years ago. With our house backing onto a wooded area, the chirping of birds is a familiar sound all year long. I often glance out the window to see birds of all forms in the yard throughout the day. Frequently I will pull out the Birds of Victoria or Birds of North America reference guides we have on hand. Unfortunately, the drawings in the first aren’t overly helpful for identification and the number of entries in the second is overwhelming. My second reason has to do with a photography course I took a number of years ago. Since that time I have been trying to think of a practical reason to buy a new camera. Taking pictures of birds requires a powerful zoom lens which my previous point-and-shoot camera could not accommodate. Perfect! My final reason was my desire to take on a new project to welcome in 2011. Hence, bird of the day was born.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Double-crested Cormorant

Phalacrocorax auritus

Large - stocky body and long neck
Hook at tip of bill
Orange throat pouch
Immature: (photo to left)
    - Grayish-brown
    - Pale on throat and chest
Adult: (see additional photos)
    - Blackish all over
    - Orange bare skin on face and throat,
      extending up to lores

Listen to its call.

I photographed this bird on a rock just off Cattle Point last week. It was enjoying its solitude during one of our rare sunny periods.  After drying  its feathers in the breeze, it took off with a heavy wing-beat, flying low over the water.   

I read somewhere that cormorants have ancestors reaching all the way back to the time of the dinosaurs, which is certainly believable given their rather prehistoric appearance. This is definitely the oddest looking bird I've encountered thus far.

Learn more about the Double-crested Cormorant.

Additional photos:


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the help with the "eagle ID", Beth. I had no idea that they did not get their distinctive colouring until the fifth year. We see a lot of birds when paddling and will probably need your "eye" again!