Cormorants – The Large Water Birds
The name cormorant might sound like a name for an insect, but cormorants are actually large water birds. Cormorants live in coastal areas or near lakes and rivers. They are usually black, brown or grayish. During the mating season, some cormorants develop brilliant white or blue patches on their throats or thighs.
Cormorants, like most waterfowl, eat fish and shellfish. They are expert swimmers and can dive up to 100 feet deep to catch fish. They can stay underwater for more than one minute!
Fun Facts about Cormorants for Kids
- Cormorants build nests on rocky crags to protect their babies. Sometimes they use old blue heron nests high in trees.
- Cormorants nest in colonies and drop their poop on trees, bushes and rocks. Because so many cormorants nest in one place, their poop can stain rocks or even kill trees!
- Cormorant mothers and fathers take turns sitting on their eggs. Once the babies are born, their parents feed them half-eaten fish.
- Cormorants are sometimes harmed by pollution or oil in the water.
- Coastal: along the coast
- Brilliant: bright, colorful
- Waterfowl: birds that live near water
- Crags: cliffs or protected areas
- Colony: group
Learn More All About Cormorants
Watch this amazing video about cormorants and Chinese fishermen:
A video of how Chinese fishermen use the cormorants to fish.
Question: Are cormorants useful to people?
Answer: Sometimes people don’t like cormorants because they make a big mess, but Chinese fishermen train cormorants to catch fish.
Question: Why do cormorants spread their wings out in the sun?
Answer: Some scientists believe cormorants don’t have protective oil in their feathers like other waterfowl. They might be drying their feathers.
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