10 April 2021
Sumber Foto: Wikimedia
Pied cormorants on Kangaroo Island, Australia
HERE we see a quartet of Australian pied cormorants on South Australia’s Kangaroo Island. It’s the bouncing marsupials who generally get top billing, but Kangaroo Island is a haven for many species of birds as well, including our pied cormorants.
Until roughly the 16th century, cormorants were thought to be related to ravens, and were frequently referred to as ‘sea ravens’. Most species of these seabirds do indeed sport glossy all-black plumage similar to a raven’s, but a few cormorant species in the southern hemisphere lighten things up bit.
The Australian pied cormorant – Phalacrocorax Varius, also known as the pied cormorant, pied shag, or great pied cormorant, is a medium-sized member of the cormorant family. It is found around the coasts of Australasia. In New Zealand, it is usually known either as the pied shag or by its Māori name of Kāruhiruhi.
‘Pied’ describes their variegated black and white colouring. The birds are expert divers, plunging into coastal waters, rough or calm, for their meals. Like almost all their cormorant cousins, following a dive they spread their wings wide to dry them off, and it makes quite the spectacle. (*)