I spotted this Double-crested Cormorant hunting for food in the Willamette River this past weekend. I lost sight of it for a few minutes and then saw it flying by. The river is high right now due to a lot of recent rain. The grass sticking out of the water in this photo is usually completely exposed, as is the island it is rooted in.
Cormorants don’t just live near fresh water though.
I took this photo last spring along the Oregon coast.
It is apparent from the stains on the rocks that many birds like to roost here!
But even though they sometimes choose to live near the ocean, cormorants are very common in our valley all year round. According to The Sibley Guide to Bird Life & Behavior, they hunt for fish and swallow them whole. Like owls, they spit up pellets at the end of the day to get rid of bones that they can’t digest.
It was chilly that morning- probably around 40 degrees or so with ice still around in the shade. That’s what makes this next photo surprising…
That is one tough man!