This gallery was inspired by the song, of course, and by the initial photograph below where a Brandt’s Cormorant parent stands alongside the nest as the other parent cradles and warms the nestlings under the wing. Photographed in July 2014 in Monterey, California, this cormorant rookery was at the end of a public pier, protected by a metal gate and fence that gave just enough access for wildlife watchers and telephoto lenses. The cormorants were reasonably acclimated to the human traffic, and shielded by the rigid barrier between them and us.
The following year when I returned, a second gate was installed on the pier which prevented birders and photographers from accessing the area where I shot these images. The second gate is an effective separation from human instrusion, but it also blocks the view and makes these types of photos impossible, even with a long lens.
We were told that fishermen breaching the barrier and climbing the rockery disturbed both the birds and the marine mammals. Their thoughtless actions apparently led to the closure of this area, for the protection of the wildlife. Unless and until that viewing spot is opened again to wildlife watchers, these images are the only ones I’ll have in my archive … when this gorgeous proximity rewarded all of us with a moving and intimate view into cormorant family lives and loves.
Photographed, always, with wildlife ethics and animal welfare in mind