Unlike the Anhinga who spear their food with their sharp straight beak the Double-Crested Cormorant hooks it’s prey.
Juveniles have pale white/brown chests with patches of darker brown and the adults are dark brown/black. These birds are powerful swimmers.
By the sizes of these, I am assuming a couple of years old. I occasionally drive around Bayport, and I am surprised that I didn’t see them when they were younger, or maybe they were breed somewhere else and moved to this location.
It’s is amazing how wildlife kids transform, how this juvenile little blue heron is pure white and within a year will turn all blue.
The photo above is one of two juveniles with one of the parents not far behind.
These are wading birds that forge for minnows, crayfish, and frogs on the edges of marshes and ponds.
Wading Bird. They can be found in both freshwater and saltwater areas, though more species tend to favor freshwater habitats. Bogs, marshes, mudflats, shorelines, ponds and flooded areas are all popular habitats for wading birds, and they can even be found in urban and suburban areas such as along golf course ponds. Source: https://www.thespruce.com/what-is-a-wading-bird-387103
So how to tell if you are seeing a Little Blue? Legs and beak… The legs are greenish and their beak has bluish tint color with a dark blue tip.
Recently in Tampa, Lettuce Lake Park has a great boardwalk for nature photographers and while observing the Black-crowned Night Heron, I learned something.
This is just an observation guess… notice what the bird does while its beak is in the water. My guess is that by gently snapping into the water creates a vibration which will bring fish or other species from underwater to the surface.