Thursday, 15 January 2009

Nesting cormorant

It's fascinating to watch birds collecting nesting material. They're often very fussy about it. And when a bird finds just the piece it's been looking for, it will spend a lot of time and effort to secure that perfect straw or shred of bark.

This great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) wasn't having much luck today. Cormorant beaks are excellent for catching fish but not so good for carrying reeds.

I watched for a while but the poor bird didn't manage to pick it up again. I felt like wading in to help but decided to leave the cormorant to its own devices.


sarala said...

It makes for a good story. I like the idea of you wading in to help.

mick said...

That's a great series of photos. I wonder how they ever get anything built if they take that long and still can't pick it up.

Snail said...

The poor bird was overambitious. This behaviour may have been what prompted Christopher Isherwood to write:

The common cormorant (or shag)
Lays eggs inside a paper bag,
You follow the idea, no doubt?
It's to keep the lightning out.

But what these unobservant birds
Have never thought of, is that herds
Of wandering bears might come with buns
And steal the bags to hold the crumbs.