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Flightless Cormorant

Flightless Cormorant
Photo Information
Copyright: Selen Ediger (SelenE) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-04-27
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 20D, Canon EF 100-400mm F/4.5-5.6L IS USM
Exposure: f/5.0, 1/200 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Endangered, Birds of Ecuador [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-01-07 3:53
Viewed: 11275
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 64
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Flightless Cormorant
Nannopterum harrisi
Endemic (found only in Galapagos)
Red List Status: Endangered

The Flightless Cormorant is a cormorant native to the Galapagos Islands, and an example of the highly unusual fauna there. It is unique in that it is the only cormorant that has lost the ability to fly.
With only 1500 estimated individuals, it is one of the world's rarest birds and is the subject of an active conservation programme. (wikipedia)

*The only cormorant found in the islands , the flightless cormorant is a(95cm) dark brown-to-black bird. Aptyl named owing to its complete inability to fly. Its wings are no more than vestigial appendages which appear to serve no useful purpose. Unmistakable when seen hanging its stubby wings out to dry after coming ashore. When in the water, the body is almost entirely submerged with just the snake-like head and neck visible. Adults are black above and dark brown below, but look completely black when wet. Juveniles are completely black. They have large, black-webbed feet with very short sturdy black legs. The eyes are brilliant turquoise and the bill is long and strong , with a pronounced hook at the tip. The males are noticeably larger than the females.

The flightless cormorant feeds on small fish, eels and octopus which it catches within 100m of the shore. It dives from the surface with a jack-knife movement and uses only its large and powerful webbed feet to pursue its prey.

Flightless cormorants have an elaborate courtship ritual which normally starts in the water with an aquatic dance. The necks are held in a snake-like pose known as ‘snake encking’ and the birds swim back and forth past each other. The dance is continued on land and a large bulky nest is made of seaweed , which is largely brought by the male and presented to the female as part of the courtship ritual. The nest is added to by the male, which brings more seaweed when he takes over the incubation. Most eggs are laid between may and october.

Incubation takes about 35 days and initially both parents feed the young. If however the food supply is good, the female may leave and mate with another male, while the frist male continues to look after and feed the young, for up to 9 months.

Best viewed: Fernandina- Punta Espinosa; Isabela- Urvina Bay, Punta Moreno to Punta Gracia.

Source: Wildlife of the Galapagos
Julian Fitter,Daniel Fitter,David Hosking
Princeton Pocketguides, ISBN 0-691-10295-3

Adanac, mariki, Argus, matatur, fartash, marhowie, Alex99, Ena, Necipp, meyerd, Hil, nglen, JoseMiguel, dejo, earthtraveler, shirgold has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-01-07 4:21]

Hello Selen,
Wonderful capture of this rare bird, the details and colors are mavelous and that eye is spectacular. Thanks Selen.

Hello Selen,

Very nice composition. Great sharpness. And what an eye!

Hello Selen
Excellent shot of this cormorant in cool pose.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-01-07 5:02]

Hello Selen,
Superb sharp portrait of the Galapagos Flightless Cormorant displaying its vestigial wings against a superb OOF natural BG. The blue eye shows well here too.
Well done and thanks,

Hi Selen,
You've captured a perfect flightless cormorant specimen with this shot. It is one of the best evidences of evolution at isolated islands; on mainland they would not survive long among various predators, which the islands lack and on an island being flightless is an advantage at keeping the fauna on the ground. TFS.

Hello Selen
Very nice shot of this Flightless Cormorant,
Perfect details,exposure and BG,Welldone.

Good Luck

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2008-01-07 5:53]

Hola Selen,
espléndida foto,
sensacional trabajo y detalles,
buen foco y pov,

Hi Selene,
The cormorant's very cool pose and your POV here make this a great capture..
Love the BG and those torquoise eyes :)

  • Great 
  • Karin Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 418 W: 5 N: 268] (2089)
  • [2008-01-07 6:09]

Hi Selen,
perfect focus and details. good composition, very interesting note.
well done andtFS

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-01-07 7:01]

Hello Selen,
The light on this Cormorant is amazing. Perfect focus and colours. Pose, POV, composition and sharpness are excellent.

  • Great 
  • badar Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 106 W: 0 N: 160] (785)
  • [2008-01-07 7:40]

Hi Selen,
Fabulous details on this cormorant. Love the eyes.

  • Great 
  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2008-01-07 8:57]

Hi Selen,

Although I have been in galapagos,I unfortunatly missed this bird,you managed to capture it with a nice POV,colors and light looking great,tfs


  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-01-07 9:43]

Hi Selen.
Terrific colour pattern of the image. Superb pose of the bird and composition of the picture. I am impressed with excellent wide DOF and sharpness of the bird and every feather. Its eyes are wonderful. BG is unusual and impressive too. Bravo.

  • Great 
  • Ena Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 324 W: 61 N: 594] (2454)
  • [2008-01-07 10:09]

Hi Selen,
Very interesting subject of the photo!
Nice details!
Very informative note!
Good work!

Merhaba Selen,
this shot deserved a credit and bonus for it's superb sharpness, beautiful colouration and exect details!
the exposure and focus is spot on!
very well done
a very informative notes
many thanks

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-01-07 10:20]

I could tell from the thumbnail that this would be a stunner!
This is probably one of the sharpest and detailed photos on TN!!
The clarity is truly incredible!
Perfectly composed and a great POV.
I love the pose as well... a classic for this bird!
That blue eye is splendid!
Brilliant focusing and DOF.
Very, very well done Selen!

Merhaba Selen another awsome shot of this Cormorant I remember this one from before those eyes are just amazing excellent light/contrast very sharp shot DOF is perfect nice amount of blur in the background. A fine pose also TFS selamlar Necip.

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-01-07 11:19]

Hi Selen,
Just acknowledging this wonderful shot from you. Sorry for the short job my friend, absolutely stretched.

  • Great 
  • meyerd Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 585 W: 64 N: 2238] (7531)
  • [2008-01-07 11:31]

Hi Selen,
the eye, the eye! And then those ridiculous wings. And then the wonderful light playing with the feathers. I've never seen such a good portrait of the Flightless cormorant. The species is of interest to biologists, because the population size is low since centuries yet it does'nt go extinct.
Best regards

  • Great 
  • Hil Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 696 W: 13 N: 1407] (5035)
  • [2008-01-07 12:49]

Hi Selen,

Wonderful capture of the Cormorant, nicely composed and I love the pose with the bird dispaying his stubby wings, perfect exposure on the black/brown feathers, superb details and perfect lighting.

TFS Hil :o)

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-01-07 12:53]

Hi Selen. Fine detail and natural colours are in this shot. you have a nice pose with the bird showing its wings . the blue of the eye looks good. well done TFS.

Merhaba Selen,
What and impressive image!
I like very much the great light that you had there and the reflections got on the dark plumage.
Of course that the eye really stand out so well of the whole image, it seems like a turquoise inserted on the head.
A very good pose, action and variated background to complement the picture.
Congratulations and thanks for share it.
My best regards,

  • Great 
  • dejo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 344 W: 51 N: 520] (2242)
  • [2008-01-07 16:21]

Hi Selen,
photo beautiflly presents this species and its specific adaptation.
captured in nice pose with great details and very good light
great notes too
fantastic work

Super shot Selene!
Wonderful light on this Cormorant and excellent comp, focus detail, and BG color/texture. The pose and eyecolor are incredible. Well done, as usual. TFS

Hi Selen,
Beautiful photo, the monotone effect just looks great. Spot on exposure and lighting makes the bird stand out, the eye is like the jewel in the crown. TFS

Merhaba Selen, superb portrait of beautiful cormorant with splendid eyes, wonderful details and great sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • rdfoto Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 372 W: 0 N: 719] (3295)
  • [2008-01-08 10:51]

Bonjour Selen
Très belle prise et couleurs, bonne netteté et très beau sujet avec cette couleur bleu de l'oeil. excellentes notes.
Amicalement Robi

great torquize eye, greetings Ori

Hello Selen,
Excellent picture of th flightless cormorant. Outstanding sharpness and details.Colourful eye, very unusual though.:)Fantastic composition.
Thanks and Regards,

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-01-11 8:41]

Hello Selen, very interresting shot ! Perfect details and exposure and great note ! Well composed with a great technique, well done, thanks !


Hi Selen

This is a great shot of a quirkily evolved island bird! The light is excellent and the wavy water in the BG adds a very nice atmosphere to the picture.

TFS and Best

Hi Selen,
Very nice capture, showing very well the little wings of this extraordinary bird.
Very good details and contrast.
TFS, Shir

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