The winds have been wild and ocean rough this month, but the Brandt’s cormorants have managed to build nests on the Monterey Harbor breakwater anyway. The colony was lively this morning — males landing with algae-seagrass wads and cementing the bits together with guano to attract a mate, partners greeting and flashing bright blue throat pouches, and pairs mating. I saw no eggs (females lay 3 to 6), but given today’s activity, those will surely come soon.
In addition to the Brandt’s, I spotted pelagic cormorants with nest material flying under the hotels, restaurants and shops along Cannery Row. They’re more solitary than the Brandt’s and, I assume, the pilings offer more privacy or better protection from the elements and predators. I’m glad for the gregarious cormorants on the breakwater where I can spend the next few months watching males maintain nests, females brood eggs and youngsters grow and fledge.