While watching this cormorant fishing, on what by my estimation was a very rough day, I was gently reminded it is not what happens to you but how you respond as this cormorant smoothy dove under the approaching wave, popped out on the other side and kept on fishing without batting a eye.

67 thoughts on “Cormorant

  1. Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature

    Isn’t it nice when Nature speaks to us, and gently reminds us about life lessons? Nice post. Thanks

    1. Hello and thanks for taking the time to give a little feedback on the post and when you take the time to think about it nature is always providing those lessons we are just probably not listening. Hope your weekend is a wonder filled one.

  2. Awesome photo!

    I really like these clever birds; I can’t wait till they return to my area in the spring. I have noticed that when they go fishing, that seagulls often shadow them.

    The gulls will try to anticipate when the cormorant will breach the surface of the water, and try to snatch the fish from the cormorant’s beak.

    I really want a 600mm lens for Christmas to capture that! But who doesn’t want a 600mm lens, right?

    1. Hi Chris, yes, a 600mm lens would be a nice gift from santa for sure. We have seen a similar behavior from gulls in that they shadow the hooded mergansers on our ponds in winter and pounce on them when they bring up crayfish. One afternoon the mergansers were bringing up crayfish after crayfish and each time a gull was able to snatch the crayfish. We were able to get some shots but they were just a bit too far away and a bit on the fuzzy side to be keepers. Thanks fro the feedback and hope your day is going well.

      1. Mike,

        Funny you should mention tossing out shots that document interesting behavior, but aren’t the best quality.

        I dealt with that in my most recent post. I shot a string of phots of bald eagles locking talons and then falling through some thin ice.

        The problem with the shots was that they were partially obstructed views. I cropped them as best I could and then put them in movie maker, and made a slide show to talk about the behavior.

        Of course my blog is a mix of nature journaling and photography, but I wasn’t sure if the result was worth the effort.

        If you get the chance, pop over the Creative Nonfiction 315 and have a look.

        Would love to hear your thoughts on it.



        1. Hi Chris, I like the slide show format you used as it tells the story and even if the photos were not the closest and clearest the description of the behavior gets across and really describing the observed behavior is the fun part to observe.

          I think you assumption of two adults with offspring from different years is correct. I have observed adults jousting with several young in fake ariel battles which appear to be training sessions for the young. Fun stuff.

          Hope your day is good and your week ahead fun.

  3. I very much agree on your thought “it is not what happens to you but how you respond” – but I wonder if it’s easier to respond appropriately when you are in your “element” (like the cormorant in this rare shot). And how responding at all can be measured as “right” or “wrong”. But this goes maybe a bit too far – I’m sure, the cormorant acted according to his true nature, and that’s the best thing to do anyway. πŸ™‚

    1. Hi, I agree appropriate responses are easier when in your element as this cormorant was that day and there is for humans a learned aspect of decision making. Perhaps one of the great problems in our current world is perhaps the mismatch between the “element” and the organism. With the element being the environment and systems we have created and the repaid rate of change in the environment not allowing the organism to be in their “element”.

      1. When I understood your answer correctly – you mean because the environment and systems which we humans created are changing so quickly, that we are struggling to adapt and therefore will never really be in our “element”?
        But what if this what we created is also part of us? There wouldn’t be any need to adapt, we would just always respond appropriately. That’s what I meant above with “if responding at all can be measured as right or wrong” – when it comes naturally, without much thinking. Like the cormorant acted because it’s his nature.

        Hm. Well, for sure, I’m thinking too much. Got entangled in thoughts. πŸ˜‰

        1. Hi Suzan, Yes I did mean given the rapid pace of change external and not dependent upon us directly creating the external change it is difficult to feel in our element. My use of the term feel is more about a deep knowledge we have in our being which is wisdom in a sense in that thinking is not required.

          And as you think and I think we both are getting entangled in thought which would never occur with feeling. πŸ™‚

          1. Well, normally I’m entangled in feelings (or more – emotions) the whole time as well, more often too much than the other way round (= struggling with a more rational approach to topics).

            But that’s different as what you are referring to I think, i.e. your use of the term “feel” which is generally what I meant: When you are able to (re-)act from the moment, right from your gut feeling as part of the deep knowledge within us we can’t grasp consciously. Acting without all the “what if’s” in your thoughts, considering pros and cons when you have to make a decision.
            Since I read “The Watercourse Way” by Alan Watts about 15 years ago I’m trying to follow this kind of… approach, so to say. Or rather: I’m *not* trying to follow it consciously, but mostly I’m terribly failing to implement *not* acting in my everyday life. So much to learn – or to let go.

            Hope that makes sense in a way. Sorry, got carried away again – this time by feeling. And I agree on your last sentence. πŸ™‚

          2. Hi Suzan, it does all makes sense to me. I listen to Alan Watts very often while walking to work so I understand completely.

            And those pesky what if’s always seem to be there don’t they?


          3. Always. Except when you try “holding your breath” mentally. That only works for a few seconds. Don’t know if that’s understandable, difficult to explain – it’s like staring with your brain = not thinking. Hmm, sounds odd. :/

            But because of those pesky “what if’s” I said I’m terribly failing most of the time. And the most perfidious is that at the very moment you try consciously (and think of it), you already failed.
            But maybe even to call it failing is wrong. It would want to achieve something… which is – see above – not the point. Argh. πŸ˜€

            Better back to feeling. πŸ™‚

            P.S.: You listen to Alan Watts, means… a podcast? I didn’t know there are recordings. Would be good for my daily commute on train.

          4. You could then ask is this all a zen game. Trying not to try being a prime example of the adage…a folk that persisting in their folly will someday become wise.

            There is both a weekly Alan Watts podcast which has short 15-20 minute recording of various lectures as well as an iPhone app which albeit a little expensive has a complete selection of longer recording. Very fun to listen to.

            Hope your day is going well.

          5. Of course it’s all a game – kind of. Or a lot of small games in one big game. Or a play. Which brings us back to the director. πŸ˜‰

            Thanks, I bought the “Essential Lectures” app. Quite pricey as you say, but finally something substantial to listen to. Thanks for the tip. πŸ™‚

          6. Like every great play life has plots and subplots, protagonist and antagonists and we never really see the director or the writer only the actors.

            Enjoy the lectures they are entertaining.

    1. Hi Tanja, yes not easy to follow but much easier to comprehend when you see it in action versus just a phrase being spouted at you when you a in that time of turmoil. Hope your day is going well and your week off to a fine start.

feedback welcome

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