Double-Crested Cormorants come back to the Ellsworth Marina moorings well before the boats do. These birds are perhaps our most skilled fishing birds.
They dive deeply and stay under dark water for long periods, peering with specialized blue eyes for fish and eels. Their muscular legs pump their two big webbed feet simultaneously and their short wings are used as submarine rudders.
Those short wings may be good for flying under water, but Cormorants need a long runway to take off into the air above water. They frequently just stand around with wings spread. They’re not praying.
Their outer feathers are adapted to absorb water and repel air bubbles, which reduces buoyancy and creates speed underwater. However, Cormorant feathers get wetter than those of other water birds and need to be warmed and air-blown dry. See also the image in first Comment space. (Ellsworth, Maine)