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The animal on the cover of Object-Oriented Programming with Visual Basic .NET is a double-crested cormorant. Double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) are goose-sized birds with dark plumage, webbed feet, long necks, and hooked bills. Though males are usually larger than females, they are otherwise similar in appearance. Immature cormorants are browner, with pale necks and breasts. Cormorants live in marine and inland waters throughout North America. Their diet consists primarily of fish, which they usually hunt in moderately shallow waters.
Cormorants spend much of their time perching on land with their wings outstretched. This behavior may help eliminate parasites, realign feathers, or serve a number of other purposes, but it is most commonly attributed to the drying of feathers. The feathers of cormorants are not waterproof. This decreases their buoyancy and assists their hunting of fish, but requires them to dry their feathers after leaving the water. On particularly hot days, cormorants can also be seen with their mouths open, fluttering their distensible, orange throat pouches. Known as gular fluttering, this behavior helps reduce body temperature.
Derived from the Latin words corvus (raven) and marinus (of the ...