Jetty Buddies: Pied Cormorant and White Faced Heron
I was fascinated to see two very different water birds sitting side by side on the jetty. A wader, the White Faced Heron has long yellow legs and a long sharp beak. It’s feathers are fluffy as they are not immersed in the water when the bird fishes. In contrast, the Pied Cormorant has short black legs with webbed feet, and oily short feathers, to keep the water away from the skin when it dives for fish. Its yellow beak has a hook on the end, enabling it to grip the fish firmly.
These photos were taken late in the afternoon on a warm Summer day, and both birds seemed content to bask in the sun. The birds were wary of my presence, but as long as I appeared to be walking away from them, they tolerated me walking closer to the edge of the dam. I managed to zig-zag my way close enough to the jetty to capture the colours of their plumage more clearly.
A Pied Cormorant and a White Faced Heron basking in the sun.
Both of these birds fish in the dam, but they are so physicaly different. I’m fascinated to compare them side by side.
The Pied Cormorant was keeping a watchful eye on me in case I got too close.
Every now and again, the Pied Cormorant would check to see what the White Faced Heron was doing. Occasionally it made warning noises to the heron.
The Pied Cormorant has such a streamlined body – perfect for diving through water.
This shot shows the yellow colouring on the neck feathers more clearly.
Another warning for the White Faced Heron to stay up the other end of the jetty.
Mostly, the White Faced Heron was content to stand on one leg and relax in the sun.
When the White Faced Heron began walking along the railing, its true form is more clearly revealed. Beautiful long legs and graceful arced neck.