Cormorants fly continuously all day over the slough, some close to the water others much higher.

They are a bird who is generally unappreciated commonly cursed at. Some 1st Nation people judge them as the only junk bird. Mostly due to the belief they catch all of the fish in a lake or pond. To be fair in the far North their flocks number in the thousands and are capable of overtaking an entire lake.

I have seen photographs of them tied with a string around their necks to keep them from eating the fish they catch and delivering them to a man in a boat on the surface. They are trained birds in that way being rewarded at the end of the day with a fish meal that they captured. The string around the neck keeps them hungry which keeps them fishing.

Cormorants are attracted to Pelicans for a reason that escapes me, they are used as tools by the larger birds. The Pelicans will watch where they dive for fish upon surfacing they are grabbed by the big beaks and shaken until the fish fall out of their beak. The Pelicans then steal the fish and eat it. However the confusing part is this will go on several times, I suspect the Pelicans herd the fish to make catching them easier for the Cormorants who then reward the big birds. But that doesn’t really hold water because it defies what most of us have been taught about wildlife being none thinking instinct driven robots; I do not accept the word instinct.

Any landing that is walked away from was a good landing could be the motto of the Cormorants. They are fast flyers, lousy landers and sloppy on the water takeoffs, I never tire of watching them land. At times it appears they may enter into a tumble on the top of the water, taking off is a chore from all appearances.

Some fly close to the water surface at the same speed they fly far overhead, they only have two speeds stopped and fast. When they fly near the surface it’s usually because they are executing a short flight of a few hundred yards. Generally when they are high overhead they are heading far down the river disappearing around one of the nearby bends. They remind me of Taxi Cabs on a busy downtown street continuously in motion without a concern in the world.

Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance

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