Double-crested Cormorant

Double-crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus)

An orange patch at the base of their bills identifies a pair of Double-crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus).  They appear to be in a state of mutual admiration.  While normally thought of as sea birds, Double-cresteds are also found around lakes, ponds and rivers throughout the US and south-central Canada.  These birds were spotted at Whistle Lake in Anacortes, Washington.  After diving for fish, they are sometimes seen standing with wings outstretched to help dry their feathers.  Perching on a branch like this is not an easy task for a web-footed bird.

Whistle Lake is located in the Anacortes Community Forest Lands.  This is a unique program which preserves about 2,800 acres of forest, meadows and wetlands in a natural state.  A network of old logging roads and trails offers nature lovers a Northwest wilderness experience, all within the Anacortes city limits.  The complete Whistle Lake Adventure was posted at Fidalgo Island Crossings.