Double-crested cormorant

A single cormorant was cruising Lake Cheston this morning. It looked lost: gazing around in an agitated manner. Cormorants are gregarious, so it may have felt ill at ease without its companions.

These fish-eating birds migrate to Tennessee from further north and spend the winter on larger unfrozen lakes. I sometimes see them fly across Sewanee, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen one on our small lakes. Before the 1950s, these birds bred in some numbers in Tennessee, but DDT wiped them out. Now, a few small colonies have been reestablished. A few breed down in the valley, around Woods Reservoir.

Phalacrocorax auritus, seemingly bemused

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