Watch my video of the cormorants we saw the other day. You might even see one catching a fish!
Cormorants are really cool birds. The word “Cormorant” is a contraction probably derived from Latin corvus marinus, “sea raven.” People thought that cormorants and ravens were related for a long time, but this is not the case.
Cormorants are medium-to-large seabirds. They range in size from the Pygmy Cormorant (12 oz), to the Flightless Cormorant (11 lb). Most cormorants have mainly dark feathers, but some are black and white, and a few are very colorful. Many species have areas of colored skin on the face which can be bright blue, orange, red or yellow, typically becoming more brightly coloured in the breeding season. Their bill is long, thin, with a sharp hook at the end for catching fish.
They are coastal rather than oceanic birds, and some have colonised inland waters. They can be found all around the world, except for the central Pacific islands.
All cormorants are are fish-eaters. They can also eat eels and some water-snakes. To catch fish they dive from the surface of the water. Under water they propel themselves with their feet. Some cormorant species have been found, using depth gauges, to dive to depths of as much as 100 ft.
After fishing, cormorants go ashore, and are frequently seen holding their wings out in the sun.
Cormorants are colonial nesters, using trees, rocky islets, or cliffs. Their eggs are a chalky-blue colour. There is usually one brood a year. When the eggs hatch the parents will fish for their young, then regurgitate the food for them.
Coolest fact about cormorants: The cormorant served as the hood ornament for the Packard automobile brand.