Cormorants again. One was out in the middle of the river diving this morning and I watched it for some time. The river is higher and muddy now, and is about 25 feet deep where the cormorant was. What I wonder is how do these birds find the fish they are supposed to be eating out there in the middle of a muddy river. They can’t possibly be seeing them, it has to be really dark at the bottom of 25 feet of muddy water. Mr. David Allen Sibley (The Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior) shows a picture of three west coast species foraging at different depths for small fish. But that is Pacific Ocean clear green water, not our rich muddy river water. How do you catch something that is trying to get away from you and can swim about as fast as you can, or faster, and you can’t see it? It is a mystery to me. Enlightenment would be welcome.
The river is at 6.4 feet at the Butte La Rose gauge today, and predicted to go to 8.2 feet by 2/2. It’s amazing how much a rise of about two feet can do to increase the current and muddy the water, and bring down all the “drift” that has accumulated on the banks since the last high water. The Mississippi is still rising about 1.5 feet/day and Ohio is doing the same at about 0.5 feet/day. This should be enough to keep things up for a while, but the long-range forecast is that they will begin to drop again after a couple weeks. Oh well.
Rise and shine, Jim