Little Pied Cormorant (Phalacrocorax melanoleucus) Drying Out
Sometimes Little Pied Cormorants occur in sheltered bays and inlets, but they are more common at terrestrial wetlands, including artificial wetlands as well as a variety of natural ones. Although Little Pied Cormorants will catch fish, more often they take freshwater crayfish and other crustaceans which are captured during brief dives beneath the water. The prey is brought to the surface or back to the nearby bank, where the claws of the crayfish are shaken off before its body is eaten.
Unlike most water birds, which have water resistant feathers, cormorants have feathers that are designed to get thoroughly wet. Their feathers don't trap air like water resistant varieties making it easier for them to dive and stay submerged while they chase fish. Thus their feathers become waterlogged. After spending time in the water cormorants spend considerable time drying out and preening. They can be seen standing on a log or rock, stretching out their wings to dry their feathers. Even while floating in the water they can be seen flapping their wings.
© Istvan Kadar Photography