|« Pandorus Sphinx Moth||Where Did the Painted Turtles Go this Summer? »|
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Trio of Cormorants
A trio of double-crested cormorants has graced us with their presence at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo. Last year we saw one on October 5, so this is the second year in a row we’ve seen these birds come through the ecosystem in the fall.
Double-crested cormorants get their name from the white or black crests—resembling big, tufty eyebrows—they develop in the breeding season.
One unique feature of cormorants is that their feathers are less waterproof than those of other waterbirds, such as ducks. As a result, they’re less buoyant and therefore better able to sink down into the water. This decreased buoyancy helps them dive to catch fish, their main prey. (Another side effect: the birds can often be spotted with outstretched wings as they allow their feathers to air-dry.)
We’re excited to see these birds at the pond for the second year in a row. It must be good fishing out there!
Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo
By transforming the South Pond into Nature Boardwalk, Lincoln Park Zoo has created an urban ecosystem in the heart of the city. Enjoy a virtual view as native plants and animals establish themselves in this rare refuge.
As Lincoln Park Zoo’s director of horticulture, Brian oversees the zoo’s gardens, from bud to bloom.
As coordinator of wildlife management, Mason chronicles the bugs, birds, fish, insects, mammals and more that make their homes at Nature Boardwalk.
Your support helps conserve endangered species around the globe. Give today to make a difference.