Cormorant Pair

Double-crested Cormorants

During my morning walk along the rocky coast the other morning, I stopped and watched this pair of cormorants resting on a rock outcropping. Cormorants spread their wings so they can dry them after diving for food. Their feathers are designed to inhibit buoyancy so they can dive deeper. This causes their wings to get waterlogged and they need to dry them occasionally! Some other bird species use this wing-spread technique for thermoregulation but it has been shown that cormorants strictly do this to dry their wings. Interesting and fun science fact!! 🙂

Old Man’s Beard

Along the coast hanging from the trees is a type of fruiticose lichen from the genus Usnea – often referred to as Old Man’s Beard. The park website cites that Acadia is rich in its lichen population and claims to be one of the most lichen-diverse national parks in the country. As indicators of air quality, lichen diversity and abundance can tell us a lot about the environmental health of the region. Apparently, some birds will use these long strands when nest building – including the northern parula warbler. Cool! 🙂

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