Sunday, June 19, 2011

She with the aqua-colored eyes...

...or possibly he...male and female Double-crested Cormorants look alike.


I found this juvenile Double-crested Cormorant in the willows across the mote at Ibis Pond on Pinckney Island.
I love that hooked bill...and even at a distance those aqua-colored eyes shine through!



...impressive!


...at this angle, you can see his wrinkly gular pouch easily.


...most of the literature describes juveniles as brown, but this bird was rusty colored...almost reddish.
The sun was bright, maybe that was enhancing the interesting color.


...for being so young he or she looks a bit curmudgeonly!


...as juvenile cormorants get older, their feathers turn darker until eventually they are all black. Cormorants do not breed until they are at least 2 or 3 years old. You can see black feathers emerging on this young cormorant, so he must be closing in on two years old. (For older posts showing adult Double-crested Cormorant plumage, click here.)


...this post is part of the 2011 Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge series. Pinckney Island is located just off Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. (Click here for the Pinckney Island 2011 posts, here for 2010, and here for 2009.)

28 comments:

Tammie Lee said...

wow, look at the colors, details and texture you captured in these amazing creatures! Fabulous photos Kelly!

texwisgirl said...

he's beautiful! such color and feather detail!

mick said...

Beautiful photos of the cormorant and you have shown those eyes perfectly.

Lynette said...

Wow! Outta sight! Thanks for the series!

gwendolen said...

Wow, spectacular photos Kelly. Love the light!

Laure Ferlita said...

What a face! Love those rich colors in the feathers. And as always, gorgeous shots!

Roy said...

Nice shots, Kelly! You're making me homesick again; the Double-crested Cormorants will be crowding the offshore rocks on their annual summer residence in Newport by now.

Out on the prairie said...

I had them roosting one year near the cabin. It was erie at dusk to see all in the trees drying out their feathers holding out their wings.

Montanagirl said...

Lots of nice detail in your photos, Kelly. He sure is pretty. I've seen adult Cormorants, but never a juvie. Love those green eyes!

Chris said...

Gorgeous bird amd fantastic portraits you got Kelly.... The feathers colors are incredible and look at this beautiful eye! Wow so sharp and ncie shots... congrats!

Pam Johnson Brickell said...

I'm sooo lovin' your Pinckney series. Fantastic that you captured the face on portrait! These are all stunning, Kelly.

The Zen Birdfeeder said...

Kelly - OMG between your Painted Bunting and this, you've been making some FABULOUS images! Great job!

Roy said...

Vaguely prehistoric looking bird when you get up close like this. Great shots Kelly.

Carol Mattingly said...

What a neck on this guy. I'm telling you those are some beady eyes too. Carol

Nicole MacP said...

Awesome pics!

Sondra said...

Great shots of the cormorant! I love their blue/green eyes!

Jeni said...

Sorry to repeat from the other comments - but WOW ! Impressive photo's. I've never seen one of those birds that close. Great details indeed.

Debbie said...

fabulous photo's....spectacular detail!!

you really are amazing with a camera!!!

Cicero Sings said...

What great shots! An amazing looking bird when one can get up close and personal like that.

grammie g said...

Hi Kelly ...wonderful shots and the colors especially of its eyes are lovely...,but I must admit I laughed a lot at most of them such comical position!!

Elaine said...

Fantastic series of photos! Funny how much his expressions mimic a human teenager....

Larry said...

These are the best photos I have ever seen of the Double-crested Cormorant Kelly! I've always been enamored with those eyes but I have never seen even a juvenile so red!

Banjo52 said...

I'm glad you explained the change from juvenile to adult--this reddish-brown is more attractive than the adult black, I think. I've seen the sun do that reddening on a house sparrow, but of course that's a lot less dramatic than this guy.

Man, those head shots are great.

Guy said...

Hi Kelly

Beautiful photos, the feather detail you achieved was wonderful.

Guy

Kelly said...

...thanks, everyone for the kind words. This juvenile was sitting in the willows just across the mote. He was so beautiful and colorful. Eventually he (or she) took off, but I was able to watch her for a long time.

holdingmoments said...

Superb shots Kelly.
Love the 'stare' in the second to last. :-)

Elva Paulson said...

Wonderful shots! How lucky can you get! But it takes a lot more than luch to get such good photographs.

Alec Alaska said...

Thank you so much for the fantastic pictures! We spotted a Double-Crested Cormorant on a hike with my son's kindergarten class and had trouble identifying it using guides. Your photos were the most detailed and stunning I cam across. Looking forward to showing them to his class tomorrow. Thank you!