Cormorant Colony at Tommy Thompson Park: September 2020

I know of a few places where a strong aroma alerts you to it long before you arrive.

One I discovered during my time as a cruise ship naturalist in the Great Lakes. Mackinac Island in Michigan has no automobiles so horses are everywhere.

Penguin colonies in Antarctica and South Georgia also have a strong smell.

I thought of this today as I entered the breeding colony at Tommy Thompson Park.

Cormorants, gulls and night herons all breed here. As it is September all but a few chicks are out of their nests.

Cormorant colony
100’s of cormorants
1000’s of cormorants
feeding by regurgitation

All birds feed their chicks by regurgitation.

parent and chick Double-crested Cormorant with other adult
parent and chick Double-crested Cormorants
parent and chick Double-crested Cormorants
Double-crested Cormorants
Double-crested Cormorants
Double-crested Cormorants
Double-crested Cormorant
Double-crested Cormorants
Double-crested Cormorants
Double-crested Cormorants
Double-crested Cormorants and gulls
Double-crested Cormorant

Cormorants in Antarctica are black and white and are called Blue-eyed Shags.

Blue-eyed Shag
Blue-eyed Shags at the nest
Double-crested Cormorants
Double-crested Cormorants
Double-crested Cormorants
Double-crested Cormorant
Black-crowned Night Heron
Black-crowned Night Heron
Black-crowned Night Heron
cormorant colony

NATURE POETRY

The woods grew dark, as though they knew no noon;
The thunder growled about the high brown hills,
And the thin, wasted, shining summer rills
Grew joyful with the coming of the rain,
And doubtfully was shifting every vane.           – William Morris (1834—96) 

Miles Hearn

1 thought on “Cormorant Colony at Tommy Thompson Park: September 2020

  1. Lisa Volkov

    Great pictures!
    I like the Cormorants, even if they are said to be ruining the trees (and yes, the ones in which they roost get pretty bare!) And of course, I love The Spit (otherwise known as Tommy Thompson Park). Loved them feeding their young–and there are two baby Penguins at the feet of one of them (the Penguins), right? I happened upon the Black-Crowned Night Heron nesting site on The Spit one spring, and that was one amazing sight, too! Thanks, Miles!

    Reply

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