The ballet of the cormorant

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Corky, Apr 9, 2006.

  1. Corky

    Corky Well-Known Member

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    I am so lucky to live on this particular homestead.
    We have woods behind and south of us and a river out our front door.

    It is time for the migration through here of the cormerant.

    as I sit here at my desk in the dining room I can look out the front window at the river below.
    The cormerants start by flying in from downstream. Hundreds of them. They are very quiet. They fly low over the river and go upstream then a bunch of great blue harrons come flying down stream to take up their positions along the shore.
    Soon all you see comming down the river is a bunch of long necks sticking out of the water as the cormerants float down stream searching for food.
    They randomly dissapear below the water and pop up somewhere else on the river. This system of hunting drives the minnows toward the shore as they are swimming for their lives and the great blue harrons are waiting.
    after they have drifted far enough down stream one bird will rise up out of the water, run along on top flapping its wings until they are dry enough to fly. Then they will all start running on top of the water, flapping their wings till they gain a little altitude. They skim the water as they fly back upstream to start this ritual all over again. The only sound you hear is the running and the wing tips slapping the water as they go back upstream.
    We get to watch this ballet every Spring.
    I think that this system of co-operation between two different kinds of birds is awesome!
    We have a large harronry just about a half mile upstream. Usually they are hidden in the woods but this tree is in plain sight on the other side of the river.
    It has been there for many years.
    It was hard for me to pull myself away to go to the barn to do morning chores.
     
  2. Wolf mom

    Wolf mom Well-Known Member

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    What a beautiful picture you paint with words!
     

  3. Corky

    Corky Well-Known Member

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    Thank you.
    Now they just came in again but have a flock of white egrets with them.
    The egrets have all landed in the same tree across the river from me.
    They are on limbs one above the other to the top of the tree. WOW!

    The canada geese also come to the river but they are very loud.
    I have not seen them today.
     
  4. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    That's awesome Corky :) I loved to watch them in Florida haven't seen any here but have seen herons fishing at the creek. Thanks for your beauiful post.
     
  5. texican

    texican Well-Known Member

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    Please,
    Entice the cormorants to stay where you are. I have a hard time discouraging them to stay off my lake. I spent a minor fortune on grass carp a few years ago to keep the weeds down in my waters. After seeing and reading about the large fish that cormorants could eat, I got sick.....cause I had half a dozen feeding continously... Now I only have one pair that keeps wanting to breed here.

    Great blue and green herons are welcome. They're shore feeders only and can't take the deep water fish.

    Of course, cormorants are lovely, as long as they aren't cleaning your pond out of all the fish you've got stocked. They took 2 tons of fed fish out of a neighbors pond a few years back. When he drained the pond, and siened it for his fish, he got half a dozen. Several people told him (he had half a dozen people on hand for the fish harvesting *party*) the cormorants that he'd been watching all year long would eat his fish. And about that time half a dozen flew over, and would have hunted down the last fish dinners if they all hadn't been parked by the ponds with their vehicles.....

    Some people think coyotes and coons and possums are cute, till they get animals, and the varmints start helping themselves.
     
  6. Corky

    Corky Well-Known Member

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    I have heard these stories about cormorants for years but.....
    I have been fishing this river all my life and I am almost 65. There are more fish here than ever.
    I imagine this cormorant, harron ballet has been going on here for hundreds of years and they have not cleaned out the river yet.

    I am more worried about the tourists. They canoe this river by the thousands and dump their trash in the river, pee their beer into the river and just don't seem to care.
    I too love to float the river and I also like a cold beer once in a while but I want this river to be here for hundreds more years and for all the fisherman and women for all that time.
    The eco-system works if man doesn't mess it up. Sorry! Didn't mean to get on my band wagon. :eek: