Day 9: July 16, 2011

Last morning look at the rock... seagull skimmng the low tide, and a comorant holding its wings out on a perch just below the water's surface. Why do they do that? Reason #1: After feeding, cormorants need to dry their wings. They do not have oil in their skin to protect their feathers from getting wet, like ducks and othe water birds do. Cormorants find a perch and stretch their wings out until they are dry. Reason #2: It's a territory thing. The comorant found a good spot to hang out and spreads its wings to insure against another comorant claiming the spot. Reason #3: "I have seen cormorants spread their wings in the most unlikely places such as on the top of telephone and electrical poles and although they are probably drying their wings they may well have them outspread to help their balance as they look such an ungainly bird in these situations!" Geoff Brown

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