Friday, September 11, 2009

My Mystery Birds: The Double Crested Cormorant

While at Mentor Headlands over the Labor Day weekend , we saw a few huge black birds flying overhead that we were not quite sure of their species. Having many turkey vultures (AKA buzzards) in the area and being very familiar with how they look in flight, we knew they were not buzzards. I caught a few pictures of the birds as they flew overhead in hopes that I would get a shot good enough to help me identify it. I assumed it was some sort of cormorant, but never seeing one in this area, I had to be sure.

After looking at an enlarged image, I think I have it pegged as a double-crested cormorant. It seems that they are only in this area when migrating, which is probably why I haven’t seen one here before - I haven't been in the right place at the right time. With fall on our doorstep, these birds were probably making a stop to rest at the beach dunes before heading further south. Here are the pictures – while not as clear as I would like them to be as they were taken a quite a distance, I think it gives a good idea of the coloring and shape of the bird.

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