May 29, 2018
A Most Colorful Cormorant
- as seen by -Claudio Campagna
The name of this bright-footed bird is the red-legged cormorant (Phalacrocorax gaimardi). And who is to challenge that fact?
This coastal marine bird does not like crowds. It reproduces in small colonies. And which is the more colorful gender of these cormorants? Both! There is no sexual dimorphism found in this species. It is said that this cormorant’s threat displays are perhaps not aggressive enough to effectively scare gulls which prey on nests.
The red-legged cormorant is a South American bird found mostly along the Pacific coastline (although this lucky photo was taken in Argentina). About 40,000 of these birds share the world with us — and every year there may be less. The culprits? The fishing industry that accidentally catches cormorants in their nets, preys on their eggs, and may take the food from their bills by targeting benthic invertebrates. Other challenges include the unpredictable ocean, strong winds, and rapacious gulls.
The seascapes will be less beautiful if this bird is gone.