Flightless Cormorant’s courtship

The photograph below is a pair of Flightless Cormorant going through their courtship ritual.

Flightless Cormorant - Fernandina Island, Galapagos

Flightless Cormorants in love.

ISO 1600 | f/5.6 | 1/640 | Manual Mode | AI servo focus

This photograph was created with the Canon 600mm f/4 L IS II USM lens with a 1.4x III Extender, the Canon EOS 5D mark III, handheld. Have a look at the equipment I typically carry with me.

This pair of Flightless Cormorants is swimming around each other in the cold water current of Fernandina Island, in the Galapagos Islands. What are they doing? Courting each other! 🙂 I was lucky to witness this superb display of chase and pursue in the ocean. Note that Flightless Cormorants are amongst the rarest birds with only 1,500 individuals left. This Cormorant lost the ability to fly and rely on efficient swimming.

Image optimization: As there was not much luminosity and I had to capture the action, I had to rely on a high ISO of 1600 in dark set up. Though the 5D mark III showed great ISO performance as usual, there was still some noticeable noise left. While I had lowered the noise with Photoshop Camera RAW, I decided to apply a second level of noise reduction. After creating a somewhat detailed selection of the pair of birds, I inverted the selection and pressed CTRL+J to copy and paste on a different layer. Then I applied a surface blur filter and voila!!

The photograph below is a pair of Waved Albatross preening each other during their courtship ritual.

Flightless Cormorant at the seaweed nest - Galapagos Islands

Flightless Cormorant portrait at the nest.

ISO 640 | f/5.6 | 1/2500 | Manual Mode | AI servo focus

This photograph was created with the Canon 600mm f/4 L IS II USM lens and the Canon EOS 5D mark III, handheld.

This adult Flightless Cormorant is covering its seaweed nest. The male will come with seaweed leaves as presents for the female, while the female use the gifts as building block for a nest about 50 meters away from the water.

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Steven

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