A number of years ago I saw a documentary on TV about fishermen in China, I believe. It showed them out in their flat narrow boats on lakes fishing. What was fascinating, other than the geography and scenery, was the way they were fishing. They were not using lines or nets. They were using birds. They had trained birds to fish and bring the fish back. In order to ensure that the birds didn’t eat the fish, they had put loose ropes around their necks. Tight enough to prevent them from swallowing the fish but visibly loose enough not to hurt the birds. It was truly amazing. They were cormorants.
Well over the past couple of years, we have had what I would call an exotic visitor here. Although they are breeding in Canada and are probably a different family member, we have cormorants here. I keep a very watchful eye out for them. One of their unique characteristics if that they don’t have the oils that other waterfowl have to keep their feathers from being soaked. Therefore, they have to hang their wings out to dry. Rather like an eagle. It is a very dramatic sight.
They have very colourful spots on their cheeks and bills that contrast with their body colour.
These two hung around for a couple of days, perhaps drying off although I never saw them fishing. but they enjoyed the timber posts at the top of the lake.
It’s amazing what you will see in the Lardeau Valley and Kootenay Lake.
Categories: birds, cormorants, dramatic, Flight, Kootenay Lake, lardeau valley, Nature Photography, Photography
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