Sunday, 4 March 2012

At The Roosting Site

There's a small island on the eastern side of the lake at Ohori Park in Fukuoka Prefecture. Here on this small island lies several big trees which have been used as a roosting site by over hundred Great Cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo). Right now, most of the adult birds have already moulted into their beautiful breeding plumage with white head and colourful gular pouch. I took these photos on the evening of March 1, while the birds were coming back to the roost. It was quite amazing watching them fly over from every direction and gathered on the small island.

Roosting Great Cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo)

They look so much better in breeding plumage

Most of them seemed to be performing their courtship display. They would raise their wings and tail up then flap their head to the back repeatedly. I wonder where do they nest, since I didn't see any sign of a breeding site nearby. It would be so interesting to observe them at the breeding colony. I had a great fun taking photos of them despite the very poor light. It has been drizzling for almost a week. At least the light was a bit better than the last time I came here in January.

They constantly engaged in a fight.

It was odd to see juvenile birds performed courtship display.

The small island in the middle of the lake

I made a quick sketch of the roosting site.


  1. Yeah, they cool in their breeding plumage don't they? Your photos document their social skills beautifully and the sketch summarises it perfectly. Like the backgrounds too.

  2. I agree with you and Russell; - Great Cormorants are much better-looking in breeding plumage. Ours in HK - although winter visitors - are colouring up, but they'll have a long way to go before any breeding takes place.