Wednesday Waterfowl of the Week–The Wiley Cormorant

Photo courtesy of Mike Baird

As a kid growing up near the Great Lakes, I never saw a cormorant. They were few and far between, I am told, because DDT brought them to the brink of extinction. Well, I am happy to say that they’re back, and spread across the continent from Alaska to Florida.

I was on the Maid of the Mist  a few years ago, and as we were approaching the mighty Niagara Falls, I saw a double-breasted cormorant (I assume–it wasn’t close enough for me to count) fly across the gorge and land within six feet of the thundering waters at the base of Horseshoe Falls. Amidst the roiling, churning cauldron of water, it took a nose dive in classic cormorant fashion into the depths, hunting for fish. With admiration I watched it surface a moment later, unfazed by the tumult, bobbing up and down on the surface. If I had to choose, I think I would rather go over the falls strapped to a cormorant than in a barrel.

Photo courtesy of Amy MacKinnon

About Scott

The founding member of Terra Cotta Music, Scott is a guitarist, composer, educator, writer, and avid hiker. His love for the outdoors, especially the beautiful trails of Sedona, Arizona has been a great source of creative inspiration. He believes that a close connection to nature brings comfort to our souls and spirits, and tries to capture and reflect that in his music and in this blog. You can email him at
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