Florida Birds – Cormorant

Cormorant

Cormorant

The Double-crested Cormorant and Anhingas are birds that look alike. You can tell a Cormorant by its bill which is curved or hooked at the end instead of a straight pointed bill which is representative of Anhinga’s. The Cormorants and Anhingas are similar because they lack the oil glands to keep their feathers dry enough to fly after they have been in the water. As a result these birds must dry their feathers and wings by standing outside of the water and spreading their wings to dry by facing the sun and wind. The Cormorant swims and dives underneath the water looking for small fish and insects to eat. They have webbed feet which gives them good speed while swimming after their prey. Their color is black and brownish with a orange or yellowish patch of skin on their face. They have a long neck but is often kinked or bent. They inhabit freshwater wetlands such as marshes, swamps, ponds, lakes and canals. I saw this one swimming in the Ten Mile Canal which runs along Metro Parkway in Ft. Myers. I found a good website with pictures of Florida’s birds at Nightbreeze.   I also like the Cornell Lab of Ornithology All About Birds website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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