The stocky, dark Brandt’s Cormorant raising its wings to dry them in the sun is an elegant sight. It nests on cliffs in raucous colonies along the western coast of the US, and all along Mexico’s Baja Peninsula. It shares rocky territory with the black-backed Western Gull, seen here peering out over cliffside. It's a relationship as rocky as their habitat: The Western Gull is so adept at stealing eggs that the Brandt’s Cormorant rarely leaves its nest unguarded.
This image was a Top 100 photo from the 2011 Audubon Magazine Photography Awards. To see all of the photos, click here.
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