Double Crested Cormorant



Phalacrocorax auritus. 

‘The Cormorant, or Common Shag

Lays its eggs in a paper bag…’

Or so we children used to sing as we roamed the Essex marshes in England before the War, looking for the large black birds with such odd habits.  Of course they do not have any use for paper bags but nest in platforms of sticks collected by the males and assembled by the females either on the ground in uninhabited islands, up in trees or even in cliffs. Once the sticks are in place, the females line the nest with softer materials in which to lay one or two blueish white eggs

In Tortola I was delighted to discover just how unusual the Cormorant really is, catching its prey by swimming underwater for one thing - diving to swim very fast to depths of at least 160 ft if necessary to find fish, crabs, or shrimp, then coming up for air and diving again. The males attract their females by swimming in zigzags, splashing with their large wings, and even odder, diving to bring up weeds. I have shown one young male here drying his wings after such efforts, admired by at least one female in the group.

includes off white mat 16" x 18" and certificate of authenticity