Posts Tagged ‘Nannopterum auritum’

Although it may look like this Double-crested Cormorant (Nannopterum auritum) was trying to recreate the “I’m Flying” scene from the movie Titanic (with Jack and Rose on the bow of the ship), it was simply trying to dry its feathers. It baffles my mind a bit to think that a bird that spends most of its time in the water has feathers that are not waterproof. According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, “They have less preen oil than other birds, so their feathers can get soaked rather than shedding water like a duck’s. Though this seems like a problem for a bird that spends its life in water, wet feathers probably make it easier for cormorants to hunt underwater with agility and speed.”

The little grouping of cormorants that I spotted last Thursday at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge looks like a family to me, with two parents and a juvenile, judging from their poses. In case you are curious, the little duck in the left-hand corner is probably a scaup.

As most of you know, I like to include the Latin name for my subjects whenever possible. Some of my readers live in other countries and may encounter the same or similar birds and insects, but know them by their names in their own languages. Strange as it sounds, Latin becomes our common language. According to Wikipedia, the Double-crested Cormorant has a relatively new Latin name. “It was formerly classified in the genus Phalacrocorax, but a 2014 study supported reclassifying it and several American cormorant species into the genus Nannopterum. The International Ornithology Committee followed this classification in 2021.”

Double-crested Cormorant

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.



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