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River a magnet for migrating birds

May 11, 2013
By GARRY BRANDENBURG , Times-Republican

CORMORANTS are not that common locally except when they migrate and have stopovers at local watering holes. Today's photo was one of several images captured recently. The birds were standing in long rows on old tree limbs protruding from the waters of the Iowa River. A bird standing with outstretched wings is very typical for this relative of the frigatebirds. This species does not have as much preen oil with which to dress and waterproof its feathers. Less oil means that drying the wing feathers is a must-do activity. The feathers do get water logged, however, when the bird pursues fishes. Underwater, this bird uses its wings and paddle feet to swiftly chase fish with good speed and agility.



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