What are the black water birds?

Answered by Cody Janus

The black water birds are a diverse group of avian species that are primarily characterized by their black plumage. These birds can be found in various habitats worldwide, ranging from coastal areas to freshwater lakes and rivers.

One prominent example of a black water bird is the Double-crested Cormorant. These birds are widespread in North America and are commonly seen in freshwater habitats. While they are known for their black plumage, they also have a distinctive double crest of feathers on their head, which gives them their name.

Double-crested Cormorants are highly adaptable and can be found breeding on both the coast and large inland lakes. They typically form colonies, building stick nests in trees that are often located on islands or in patches of flooded timber.

These cormorants are fascinating creatures to observe. I remember one particular encounter I had with a Double-crested Cormorant while kayaking on a serene lake. As I paddled closer to a small island, I noticed a large group of cormorants perched on the trees, their black silhouettes standing out against the blue sky.

The cormorants were busy tending to their nests, some bringing back sticks to reinforce their structures, while others were preening their feathers. It was fascinating to watch their cooperative behavior as they worked together to build and maintain their nests.

One interesting behavior of Double-crested Cormorants is their habit of diving underwater to catch fish. These birds have specialized adaptations that allow them to swim and forage underwater. With their long necks and powerful webbed feet, they propel themselves through the water, using their hooked bills to capture fish.

I recall another memorable experience while visiting a coastal area. I observed a group of Double-crested Cormorants perched on a rocky outcrop near the shore. They were drying their wings in the sun, a behavior commonly seen in cormorants. This unique behavior helps them to remove excess water and maintain their feathers’ health and insulation.

It is worth noting that while Double-crested Cormorants are primarily black in color, they can display some variations in plumage. During breeding season, they develop white plumes on their head and neck, which contrast with their black body. These plumes are temporary and are shed after the breeding season.

The black water birds encompass a diverse group of avian species, and the Double-crested Cormorant is a prominent example. These birds are adaptable and can be found in both coastal and freshwater habitats. They form colonies, building stick nests in trees, and are known for their diving and fishing abilities. Observing these birds in their natural habitat provides a unique glimpse into their fascinating behaviors and adaptations.