Cormorants Keeping Company

The high tide idled the Mallards and other dabblers, whose necks aren’t long enough to reach the bottom, but it didn’t faze the Cormorants, who have been known to dive as deep as 150 feet.  I passed half a dozen Cormorants on my way from the Schoolhouse Creek outfall to the Burrowing Owl preserve. They’re usually a challenge to photograph. They seem to have a sensor for the infrared waves that a camera sends out as it autofocuses. As soon as the camera locks in focus, a fraction of a second before I can press the shutter, they’ve disappeared underwater.  But this individual had his sensor turned off, or — as is the case with birds sometimes — wanted its picture taken.  I followed it with my lens as it slowly paddled offshore.  Then, to my surprise, it suddenly met up with another, identical bird, and the two of them began to keep company.  They criss crossed each other’s path several times, and then began thrashing the waves and beating their wings until taking off.  I hadn’t previously seen these birds interact with one another, and felt this was worth making a short video, below. 

 

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