My niece, Angie, sent the above photo of a bird they observed at the Indian Rocks Beach shore in Florida. She asked what kind of a “sea duck” it was. She was close, but the cormorant family is totally separate. I let her know that it was a juvenile Double-crested Cormorant.
She later told me that it was almost struggling to get out of the water. Angie also provided me with more photos of this youngster. I may be wrong, but, being immature, it may have become too water-logged. I have never experienced seeing one “swimming ashore”. If they were to become too wet, that could happen, I suppose. Whatever the case, enjoy seeing her sequence of another fantastic creation from our Creator. He provides for us and the avian population with provisions to help us when in need.
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16 KJV)
The Cormorant is listed in four verses in the Bible, therefore making it a Bird of the Bible. “And the pelican, and the gier eagle, and the cormorant,”
(Deuteronomy 14:17 KJV)
The Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) is a member of the cormorant family of seabirds. It occurs along inland waterways as well as in coastal areas, and is widely distributed across North America, from the Aleutian Islands in Alaska down to Florida and Mexico. Measuring 70–90 cm (28–35 in) in length, it is an all-black bird which gains a small double crest of black and white feathers in breeding season. It has a bare patch of orange-yellow facial skin. Five subspecies are recognized.
After fishing, cormorants go ashore, and are frequently seen holding their wings out in the sun. All cormorants have preen gland secretions that are used ostensibly to keep the feathers waterproof. Some sources state that cormorants have waterproof feathers while others say that they have water permeable feathers. Still others suggest that the outer plumage absorbs water but does not permit it to penetrate the layer of air next to the skin. The wing drying action is seen even in the flightless cormorant but commonly in the Antarctic shags and red-legged cormorants. Alternate functions suggested for the spread-wing posture include that it aids thermoregulation, digestion, balances the bird or indicates presence of fish. A detailed study of the great cormorant concludes that it is without doubt to dry the plumage.
The double-crested cormorant is found near rivers and lakes and along the coastline. It mainly eats fish and hunts by swimming and diving. Its feathers, like those of all cormorants, are not waterproof and it must spend time drying them out after spending time in the water.