The Cormorant


Cormorant is commonly known as the Shag. It has more than 30 species that commonly live in the water. They are the water birds that can easily swim underwater and they are naturally tamed for fishing. Cormorant has the right body and strength that allows it to perfectly catch the fish even while it is swimming under the water.

Most of the time Cormorant will dive for their food and they will come back with the fish as their meal. You will be surprised to know the fish eaten by Cormorant has a very little value to men. Cormorant produces a special Guano that is a very valuable fertilizer.

Cormorant make their nests near the area where they live to assure that the access to water and fish will be easier. Most of the nests are made with guano and seaweed. Their nests are commonly found on the small cliff or within the bush hidden on the sticks and sometimes on the tree.


If you will look into their nest you will find only 2 to 4 chalky eggs that are commonly pale blue in the shade when they have been freshly laid. With the passage of time, the colour of the eggs will turn paler and they will hatch within 3 to 5 weeks. The little baby birds will mature within the 3rd year and they are ready to catch their own prey.

The great or common Cormorant is the most widespread and commonly found spice of the bird. There are three most famous species of Cormorant that you should know about.

  1. Phalacrocorax carbo: it is the white-cheeked Cormorant that you will find in the areas of Australia, New Zealand, and Eurasia and even in the area of Canada, parts of Africa and Iceland. They are commonly 100 cm long.
  2. P. capillatus: it is famous as the Japanese Cormorant that is trained by the professionals for fishing
  3. P. bougainvillii and P. capensis: these are two most famous species of Cormorants that are known as Cape Cormorant and Peruvian Cormorant. They are found in coastal southern Africa and are famous for the production of guano that is used around the world.

It has been found that the taxonomist often considers the birds in the traditional families of the animals. According to the recent research, it has been proved that Cormorant should be included in some of the modern families because of the similarities in the genetic data as well as some of the other important features that are easily found in the other birds as well. Here is some interesting information about the Cormorant that you should know about.


The normal length of the Cormorant is commonly 45 to 100 cam that includes the wingspan of the bird. However, the length might vary according to the species. The Cormorants are commonly famous for their long necks. These necks are the reason they can easily catch the fish when required.


The Cormorants are very light in weight. They only have 340 grams to 5 kg weight. That is why the bird can easily dive into the water and catch the desired fish without drowning.


They are commonly found in the coastal areas around the world. However, you will not find the Cormorants on the Pacific islands. They commonly inhabit the areas surrounding

  1. Rivers
  2. Lakes
  3. Seacoasts

The conversation status of the bird depends on the species. So you have to be extra careful while going near the bird.


The common diet of the Cormorants is

  1. Eels
  2. Small water snakes
  3. Fish


The Cormorants have black wings and back while the bellies and face are white. They have a hooked bill. The body of the Cormorant is like a pelican. They have a long bill that looks like the hook-tipped. There are several patches of bare skin on the face that might make the bird look scary. You will also find the gular sac in the Cormorant that is known as the throat pouch.

Cormorant by Ray Hennessy

Interesting facts about Cormorant

Here we have a list of some of the interesting facts about Cormorant that you should know about.

  1. Shags have short wings for a flying creature because of their need to swim. Due to this, they have the most noteworthy flight cost of any flying creature.
  2. The species name originates from the Greek words phalakros signifying “bare” and korax signifying “raven.”
  3. The name “shag” is a withdrawal of the Latin words corvus and marinus which taken together signify “ocean raven.”
  4. Shags share numerous highlights of another sort of winged creature – the shag. Contingent upon whom you ask, their strength not be any significant qualification whatsoever since “shag” alludes to various diverse feathered creatures.
  5. All variants of the shag have organs that secrete an oil utilized for keeping the plumes waterproof. Anyway, this organ isn’t sufficiently effective so shags are frequently observed with their wings spread out in or to dry them.
  6. Certain societies (e.g. Macedonian, Grecian, Chinese, Japanese) would utilize shags for angling. A circle was tied around the shags’ throats enabling them to just swallow little fish, leaving greater fish caught in their bills, which the fishers would recover.
  7. Shags are pellet-producers. They make pellets out of the bones and sizes of the fish they eat and spit it out, much like a few owls.

Bottom line

You should know that Cormorant are very important for the stability of the habitat. They keep the sea water free from the fish that might be destroying the habitat. As well as the fertilizers produced by Cormorant are utilized around the globe in many different crops. It has been found that the Cormorant is severely affected by the water and ocean pollution. They feed on fish and because of plastic bags in the water it become hard for them to find the fish and feeding on plastic bags is very dangerous for the birds. It is important that we control pollution.