This week’s photo, taken November 26, 2014 from the fishing pier in Edmonds, WA, features an extremely cooperative BRANDT’S CORMORANT.
Until recently, whenever a Brandt’s Cormorant would fly past me, I’d say to myself or to anyone nearby, “That was a Brandt’s Cormorant, I think.”
When that particular bird is in flight, I’m not too certain about the identification; after all, at a glance a fast-moving Brandt’s looks a lot like the more common Double-crested Cormorant. Yes, the Double-crested has an orange chin and the Brandt’s has a pale chin, but cormorants fly darn fast, and it’s not easy, at least for me, to distinguish between the different colored chins when the bird passes by quickly and usually at quite a distance.
About 3 weeks ago, I got great looks at the species that had been eluding me for a long time. A BRANDT’S CORMORANT was floating on the water next to the Edmond’s pier, and it lingered there during the entire 3 hours I was birding from the pier that day. It was so close that I could almost reach out and touch it, and it was in plain sight the whole time, except when it was diving for fish. Finally, I was able to announce to the world, “That is DEFINITELY a Brandt’s Cormorant.”
Greeting cards for any occasion: