Why Settle for Less When You Can Have the Best?

Male Brandt’s Cormorants have returned to the cliffs, and are busy staking out their territory and advertising their studliness. They are in constant motion, ducking their heads to the ground, then pointing their beaks to the sky to show off the blue skin of their throats (called a gular pouch). The tail feathers fan out, sometimes wings are opened. What a display! Each guy has his own rhythm, and there they all are, bobbing and stretching and posturing. Some of them have begun to grow their white side whiskers to be even more attractive.  And the girls aren’t even here yet!

The guys are already laying the groundwork for their nests. You can see the beginnings of little piles of twigs and grasses on the rocks in the Extra. They each only get a couple feet of space in the colony. Curiously, there is not a lot of chatter, although admittedly I was quite far away and maybe just couldnt hear what they were saying. When I came back around about a half hour later, only a couple of birds remained. Were these the winners or the losers? The lone bird looks like he just might have stolen a few bits from other piles to enhance his own little stash. I imagine this whole process will go on for awhile until everyone is settled and the business of hatching eggs begins, so I might have a few more photos before it’s all over.

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