Cormorant Circus

Late summer and the feathered ones- swallows, geese, ducks as well as those piggy cormorants, gather together before heading south. Safety in numbers is not a theme lost on any of them.

During much of the summer the cormorants went about their business of eating (fish, water snakes) and eating and well, doing their business! Then they decide- mostly because there’s more of them- that a boat mast top or spreader is the place to spend the night. Fortunately they are creatures of habit and when the captain waved his paddle they right got the message and only made a try or two to land on our mast top.  I’m thinking their little butts and webbed feet would be mighty hurting thanks to the spike strip we had installed at the top a few years ago.

Russ takes up arms against the cormorants

Russ takes up arms against the cormorants

Slip sliding down the backstay

Slip sliding down the backstay

Early on their motto was “one per boat” unless the newcomer was extremely determined. The first one would have a few choice words with the next occupier and that generally ensured that #1 had the night’s lodging all to him/herself.

By mid-Sept the small mono on the mooring south of us was the evening’s berth of choice for three cormorants. For the next two weeks the nightly circus routine was predictable enjoyment; for us anyway.

Each one would fly a huge oval pattern before attempting to land on the spreader or mast top. The first one was so punctual you could set your watch by it. The second and third acts often had trouble nailing the landing and would slide off, flapping their wings to maintain balance-futile effort that.

The pain I put up with just for good night's sleep!

The pain I put up with just for good night’s sleep!

Don't you dare crap on me!

Don’t you dare crap on me!

I'm sure I can balance here- all night??

I’m sure I can balance here- all night??  Wait- this isn’t a sail boat; not gonna work

We are ever grateful to the mono next to us.  That boat was plastered in cormorant guano and we were spared.  The owners never took the boat out, and only showed up once to check on it for 5 mins; it sat as a perfect bird roosting spot all summer long.

Preferred by Deep River cormorants 3 to 1

Preferred by Deep River cormorants 3 to 1

 

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2 thoughts on “Cormorant Circus

  1. Great photos. We went fishing yesterday and were cursed by cormorants diving for our bait and catch. Drat those pesky birds! All is well Avalon. Cheers!

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