This double crested cormorant is swimming in one of the two large pools that we have at the center in what we call Flight 1.
He came in from Morro Bay on July 1st as a wee youngin’. He had a large stick pierced through his wing, and was crawling with lice.
After having the stick removed, he was given pain meds and antibiotics, and cleaned of his lice. He has been healing from his injuries inside, and was moved outside to flight 1 just this week! This is a great sign, because it means he is doing well enough to fend for himself!
Once we are sure that he is healthy and can survive on his own, he will be released into the wild where he can be free to dive the depths of the pacific for fish to eat. Cormorants can dive anywhere from 4-24 feet underwater, holding their breath for 30-70 seconds. Their webbed feet help propel them through the water to catch fish.
The number of cormorants decreased greatly in the 60s due to DDT, a chemical used by farmers to kill insects. Thankfully, it is no longer used and the populations have increased since. However, they are still at threat in certain areas due to overfishing and pollution. Unfortunately, overfishing is a large threat to these birds and others, because it leaves them with nothing to eat.
Help protect these and other birds by educating our community about responsible fishing. And if you spot a bird that appears injured, give us a call at 805-543-WILD.