View Full Version : What are they?
Another question which probably once again shows how new we are to the outdoors . . .
Whenever we go out to West Point, we see this peculiar looking black "bird" though I don't ever remember seeing it fly or anyplace other than on the water. It'll swim about and then just disappear underwater. We haven't gotten too terrible close.
Does their presence mean the presence of fish? And what are they?
Just a name would be enough to get us at least looking for the right thing in the books and online. Just not sure what to search for.
02-27-00, 09:49 PM
I think that they are common loons. If you see them diving they are fishing too. If you see them diving around a point or a hump, there is a pretty good chance that you are fixin' to get a bite. My best keeper day for LM b@ss happened when some loons were working a hump in Wilson Creek about 6 years ago in early March.
Last February about this time I was back in the south side of No Name Creek when some loons just started going crazy on the surface. After a minute I realized that some hybrids were in there with them, tearing up the shad. I scooted over there and at one time I had three hybrids on at once (roostertail, mepps, and rattle trap). I got two of the three to the boat. They were pushing five pounds, which is a pretty good tussle on six and eight pound test.
[This message has been edited by FairWeatherFisherman (edited 02-27-2000).]
02-28-00, 12:37 AM
You may also be seeing what duck hunters refer to as a "coot". It is a diving duck that is quite common in this area. They can stay submerged for a few minutes at a time, and pop back up several yards from whence they originally dove.
They are not sought after by duck hunters as their meat is very oily, and tough as shoe leather. (Don't ask how I know this.) If they could make automobile tires out of this bird, they would be on to something http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/ubbngto/wink.gif
02-28-00, 07:36 AM
The distinguishing characteristic of a coot is the distance he requires to take flight. It takes a coot forever to leave the surface. I don't see how they can fly afterward, they should be exhausted.
Most of the loons have left by now. You're probably seeing Anhingas. They are also called water turkeys. They frequently hop on a branch or log to spread and dry their wings.
If not the Anhingas Hooker described then probably Cormorants. Anhingas have a spear for a bill and a long "S" shaped neck when they are just sitting. Cormorants have a more stubby neck and their upper bill turns down at the end. They both do the spread wing drying thing.
Well, finally took a break from mid-terms and work to research this (online) based on your suggestions -- though I'm sure I'll regret it.
The picture of the Cormorant on Encarta online appears to come closest to what we think we saw (based on color and bill). We'll definitely need to take the binocs and our good camera the next time we're out because we honestly don't know the difference. Regardless, I think all the birds mentioned are "fisher birds" of sorts and therefore something to watch.
I'll have to admit though that it sounds a lot better to tell folks that I'm going out to study the relationship between ornithology and ichthyology than to tell them the truth -- that I'm blowing off work to follow birds around to catch some fish . . . http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/ubbngto/smile.gif
Regardless, appreciate all your input.
[This message has been edited by ShawnT (edited 02-29-2000).]
vBulletin® v3.7.2, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.