Saturday, March 17, 2012

It's Springtime in Southern California: Brandt's Cormorant with Chicks

Brandt's Cormorant, Phalacrocorax penicillatus, feeding her chicks; La Jolla, California. It's Springtime in Southern California and there are babies everywhere. Baby birds, baby seals, baby sea lions! This mother cormorant certainly has a handful (beakful?)! Shown here, the mother cormorant is regurgitating food for her chicks. Many of the neighboring bird's chicks had not hatched yet so this bird had a substantial head start on the flock. Perhaps having chicks well ahead of the rest of the flock will help those chicks compete for food. In any case, it's truly a fun time of year.

Brandt's Cormorants are found along the Pacific coast of North America from Alaska down through the Gulf of California. They were named after Johann Friedrich von Brandt, who originally described the type species from preserved birds brought back to St. Petersburg. In California, they feed on rockfish which they pursue with great speed and agility, enabled by their broad, webbed feet and sleek bodies. The blue throat patch is only present during the breeding season.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

That is a Brandt's Cormorant =)

Anonymous said...

That is a Brandt's Cormorant =)

The Wayward Hawaiian said...

Dear anonymous: Thank you! All help is most appreciated. I'll fix the ID ASAP! ;-)