There is this bird in my marina. It’s some sort of cormorant, and it does the funniest thing in the world. It sits on its nest.
The nest is built in a floating wheel buoy. For those not familiar, a wheel buoy is an inflated tire on a wheel floating in the water and tethered to the lake bed by a chain. I am not sure of the purpose of this particular wheel buoy, but there are several around the marina.
So, this cormorant sits on her nest all day, every day. And every day her dutiful mate swims around, braving attacks from canadian geese and one very aggressive male swan, collecting food for her.
She’s sitting on eggs – one can see them when she deigns to haul her chubby butt off that wheel buoy and actually do something. There’s no problem with this, of course. Sitting on eggs is what birds do.
But these eggs haven’t hatched yet, and they were laid in May!
That’s right, little miss sunshine has been sitting on these eggs while her mate works his tail feathers off, in the full knowledge that these eggs will never hatch.
It is a shocking and appalling manipulation of the male bird’s instincts and nature. I feel deeply for that poor male cormorant.