Friday, October 29, 2010

Witch Birds (Which Birds?)

Each year, at about this time, the witch birds return to Shilshole.  You can see them standing on the breakwater, some with their wings spread in a position to dry.

Jane calls them witch birds because of the season, because of their sinister appearance, but mostly because their cry sounds disturbingly like a cackling witch.

Cormorants are unusual sea birds.  They would seem to be poorly adapted to life in the water on the one hand, because they apparently lack sufficient oil to keep their feathers dry like ducks or sea gulls.  When they swim, they float perilously low in the water (but always with the arrogant head tilt...).  Yet on the other hand, they are superb underwater swimmers, and are very accomplished fish catchers.

Comorants hold a special place in my heart.  When we first brought Eolian down to Seattle, a comorant welcomed us to the area.  He attempted to land on our wind vane at the top of the mast, but finding it to be too tippy a perch, he left.  But not without unloading before takeoff.

Thankfully I was wearing a hat.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...