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Nature in it's glory

Nature in it's glory

Mar 21, 2010


Every once in a while I see a bird that I can't identify, usually briefly and at a distance.  Sometimes this is  frustrating, especially  when I see it on more than one occasion.  In cases like that I try to remember that  when it comes to spotting birds I tend to get lucky eventually  with a close up view.   This was just the case with the Cormorant which I had seen in the air a  few times.  It is the long wings, in addition to the long neck and tail, of this bird that will get your attention if you ever see it in the air, as you can see by the blurred image below.

Cormorant in flight

When I finally got a close up view of this bird it landed in a pond near a busy transit station that I visit infrequently.  I saw it  fly into the pond directly ahead of me, as I was sitting soaking up the sun's rays and quietly contemplating the nearly empty pond.  I knew  immediately that I was seeing a new bird by its flight and shape, which got my attention like nothing else could.  Reflexively I turned on both my camera and digital binos, but the bird dove immediately beneath the water, so that I was forced to bide my  time before it popped it's head up above the surface.  This bird can stay a long time under water let me tell you.

Nervous Cormorant

The Cormorant seems to be a very shy and nervous bird, who is very much aware of his surroundings.  It swam closer and closer toward me, as I waited patiently for a good shot with my camera, but as soon as  I moved it shied away.  So, at first, I tried to keep as still as possible, so as not to startle it into flight.  As it nervously checked out the pond's suitability, it shied at every loud noise by either diving beneath the water or suddenly changing directions.  This made it very difficult to take pictures, that and the fact that he was keeping a wary eye on me as well.  Realizing this, I decided keeping still wouldn't result in any pictures at all and so, I was forced to move slowly and carefully if  I also wanted to get a closer look at him.

More below the water than above
It took me about  five minutes to edge closer to the pond with my camera but I was rewarded  with a couple of good pictures.  Which was lucky, because not five minutes later, a jogger startled it into flight and it was gone.  I managed to get a couple of  more images with my digital binoculars, but it's sudden departure was so fast,  that it startled me, which in turn resulted in a few blurred images of the Cormorant in flight. Still they are good enough images that I will be able to identify the bird again if I see it in flight and perhaps in future follow it's flight to get some better images.

I  did  see the Cormorant again on another occasion, this time in Miami, but only at a distance that was too far to allow for the taking of good, clear pictures.  An interesting fact about Cormorants that I stumbled across while researching the bird, is that they can be tamed and trained to help human fisherman catch fish.  This apparently is done in China.  If you wish to learn more about  the Cormorant just follow these links:



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