Leucistic Double-crested Cormorant in Barrie, Ontatio

This leucistic Double-crested Cormorant with normal Double-crested Cormorant is on the Barrie waterfront.  It lacks pigments that would give it the normal plumage, legs and bill coloration. 7 October 2018.

 

ACTION VIDEO: Leucistic Double-crested Cormorant swimming, fishing, flying and preening

This leucistic Double-crested Cormorant`s eye is a pale bluish-brownish. Its plumage isn't completely white. I became aware of it from Darlene Deemert on 5 October 2018.

 

When double-crested Cormorants hold their wings open it's called "Wing-spreading". This important posture is to dry their feathers after being in the water, not to regulate body temperature. Double-crested Cormorants have "wettable" feathers, which means the outer feather layers are loose and absorb water to increase weight. They also trap less air in order to reduce buoyancy and improve diving efficiency. (Birds of North America online - Double-crested Cormorant).

 

On 9 October 2018, the temperature in Barrie hit a high of 27C plus high humidity. The leucistic Double-crested Cormorant cooled itself by "fluttering the gular" area to move air into its mouth and esophagus.The normally-plumaged cormorant did the same. Please see video showing it "fluttering the gular"

 

Leucistic Double-crested Cormorant was very active swimming and feeding along the Barrie shoreline. 7 October 2018

 

It caught several fish. The gulls tried to take it away. 7 October 2018

 

Minnows are abundant in Lake Simcoe. 7 October 2018.