thanks, Erv and Jon!
I really think this is one weird looking bird.....lol
Great shots as always Rocky!!
Jon, they look a bit odd, but they're pretty well adapted for what they do, which is dive for fish. like most herons and some other waterbirds, their eyes are positioned so that they can look down into the water without bending their heads down... in fact, you see them swimming with their beaks pointed up a bit, that's so they can see properly where they're going! in some Asian countries, they still use 'em for fishing. the fisherman ties a string around their necks so they can't swallow the fish, and keeps them on a long "leash". when the bird catches a fish, it surfaces and is retrieved by the fisherman. at the end of it's "workday", the cormorant gets fish for its supper. they can swallow amazingly large fish - their necks are like an elastic tube, and i've seen 'em down a carp almost 1/3 their own size!
they're also one of the very few diving birds - the anhingas found in Florida and along the Gulf Coast are another - that have no oils in their feathers, so they have to roost periodically and spread their wings to dry out. i often see 'em perched on a piling with their wings outspread... always thought it was the weirdest thing, till i learned why they do it. if they didn't, their feathers would get waterlogged and they'd drown. as if that weren't enough, they have very odd feet... very large, webbed of course, but their outer toes - what would be the little toes on us - are the longest, and their "index" toes are the shortest. looks really weird when you see one out of the water...