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.
Photo by Joel Pond
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!