Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Cormorants



One of the nice things about moving to a different region of the country is the new fauna. We may have cormorants in Tennessee, but I’ve never seen one before until I moved to New Jersey. Every day Seamus and I take a walk by the Newark Bay (We’ve only had one day of rain the whole time we’ve lived here.), and nearly every day we see the cormorants perched on the remains of an old dock. They look like cartoon vultures from a distance, but when you see them in the water they look a lot like loons. They are graceful swimmers and divers, sometimes diving underwater for over a minute. I’ve not seen one up close yet, but I have managed to take a few nondescript pictures. According to Alsop’s Birds of North America (Eastern Region), the cormorant looks solid black from a distance but has a greenish sheen up close. What we have in the Newark Bay is the Double Crested Cormorant.

I wonder how anything can sustain and nourish itself in this bay. Every evening when the tide goes out I see the trash that gets washed up on the rocks. Yesterday I saw a tennis shoe and a plastic jump rope. Last week I saw a Thigh Master. And there’s the plastic grocery bags, soda cans and paper of course. The water around the rocks looks kind of oily. Makes me worry when the wind blows and Seamus and I are misted.

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