Outdoor Resorts, Melbourne Beach, FL
August 21 to October 29
Double-crested Cormorant

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Walking the beach every day for so many years and looking at the wildlife, it is not very often you see something new. But on this visit I did see another new bird up close. I walk for 2 miles almost every day and during the week there are very few people on the beach. Which means there are usually a lot of different birds.

A few weeks ago, when I was walking near the edge of the surf I saw a Double-crested Cormorant fishing about 20 feet away and right next to the shore. I have seen them before but not in where the waves are breaking. They are usually out about 150 yards and you only see their head and neck sticking up. They dive and stay under for 20-30 seconds.

This time with him being so close to shore I was able to get close and watch him fish. Every now and then he would look at me to make sure I was keeping my distance. As it turns out I got to see one fishing in the surf on three different days. The better pictures of them fishing were taken on a cloudy day and could be sharper. Mom even got to see one fishing while she was sitting on the ORA beach.

A Double-crested Cormorant fishing.

They must have good eyes to see under the foam.
You can see how the web feet kick up the water behind him.

He has strong legs and big web feet.
He swam into the waves and did not get flipped.

How about this for a catch?

I bet you did not think I could swallow it!

Yum, that was good. I think I'll have another!

Chasing another fish.

And eating it.

After swimming in the sandy waves and eating, it is time to groom.
Having a flexible neck helps getting to the neck feathers.
He took the time to clean each feather one at a time.
I stood about 15 feet away.

Look, I can even reach way back here.
Notice the strong legs and large web feet.

Now that I cleaned all of my feathers I have to fix my neck.
I feel like I swallowed a corkscrew!

After cleaning you have to dry in the wind.
Pardon my back side.

My Charles Atlas pose.
I think my profile is better, don't you?
He stayed like this for about 15 minutes before flying away.

Back to the 2008 Summer Travel Directory