Double-crested Cormorant – Anhinga Trail, Everglades National Park: The Double-crested Cormorant is a bird of worldwide distribution. In most parts of the world it and other cormorants are called shags. Cormorants are a controversial species for there is the constant conflict between the birds and fishermen. Cormorants eat fish, and fishermen believe that the cormorants take too large of a percentage of fish. Cormorants do number into the millions worldwide. There have been incidents in other countries where massive killings have been undertaken to reduce the number of birds where populations have exploded.
The Double-crested Cormorant is often overlooked by the ardent birder as common and unimportant, just a check mark on a list to say it was seen. But the bird is quite beautiful; its aqua green eyes are more stunning than any emerald, and its stout hooked bill more efficient than any manmade fishing hook. The bird is a superb swimmer, and when in breeding plumage its double crest are easily seen and its feathers a combination of blue, red and green iridescence.
This cormorant and his kin in Everglades National Park do not have to worry about angry fishermen. They live a life of leisure, feeding on exotic fish in the everglades waters. Its only worry is being eaten by introduced exotics such as the Burmese or African Rock Pythons that now number in the hundreds of thousands in the South Florida everglades.
Nikon D300, Nikkor 500mm f4, Digital Capture ISO 200