A Very Tough Takeoff!

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Double-crested Cormorants often to struggle to get airborne.

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Cormorants have to run on top of the water while flapping vigorously for a good distance in order to achieve liftoff.

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This bird looked to be doing fine, but then he started flapping and running in the air.

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Many large birds have to work at taking off, but the Cormorant may be hampered by more than just weight. Their feathers are not completely waterproof, which is why you often see them drying their wings in the sunshine.

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The non-watertight feathers makes them less buoyant than most water birds, which gives them the ability to dive deep underwater to fish.

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Success at deep sea diving comes at a cost, however. Not only do they have to stand around for hours with their wings held up high; they also have to deal with excess water weight when trying to lift off.

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The difficulties Cormorants face getting into the air are formidable. They may stumble now and then, but all in all they do very well.

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