Well, I’m assuming that the ones on the nests are the Mamas and the ones who are mostly preening are the Papas! Anyone more familiar with cormorants might want to correct me. Hundreds of pairs of these seabirds nest on the sheer granite cliffs of Mandarte Island, a mostly barren rock in the sea a few miles off the south east coast of Vancouver Island, Canada.It’s amazing to see how they manage to build and keep a nest in place on the bare rocks. A couple of pictures of the island are on this site if you want to see what it looks like. See “A Rock in the Ocean” and “Our Nest,Our Rock,Our Home”.It’s a small part of the Gulf Island which lie in the waters off Sidney, the closest town on the mainland of Vancouver Island.
Since the island rises very steeply from the waters of Haro Strait, it’s easy to drift up close in my boat and get close to them. They’re actually quite tolerant as long as you stay quiet and just drift in slowly and let them get used to you.
If you’d like to see the island from a satellite, try this URL from Google maps:
You can zoom in pretty close or go back out and see all the surrounding islands.
Taken with a Fuji S100FS camera,August 4, 2008.