Phalacrocorax carbo Linnaeus, 1758
Noms communs : Great Cormorant, Great Black Cormorant, Black Cormorant, Black Shag [En], Grand Cormoran [Fr], Aalscholver [Nl], Kormoran [De], Cormorano [It], Cormorán grande [Es], Κορμοράνος [Gr], Büyük karabatak [Tu]
IUCN Conservation Status : LC (Least Concern)
Kerkini, SERRES ● Greece
Description: The Great Cormorant is a large black bird, but there is a wide variation in size in the species wide range. Weight is reported from 1.5 kg (3.3 lbs) to 5.3 kg (11.7 lbs), with a typical range from 2.6 to 3.7 kg (5.7-8.2 lbs). Length can vary from 70 to 102 cm (28–40 in) and wingspan from 121 to 160 cm (48–63 in). It has a longish tail and yellow throat-patch. Adults have white thigh patches in the breeding season. In European waters it can be distinguished from the Common Shag by its larger size, heavier build, thicker bill, lack of a crest and plumage without any green tinge.
Biology: The Great Cormorant breeds mainly on coasts, nesting on cliffs or in trees (which are eventually killed by the droppings), but also increasingly inland. 3-4 eggs are laid in a nest of seaweed or twigs.
The Great Cormorant can dive to considerable depths, but often feeds in shallow water. It frequently brings prey to the surface. A wide variety of fish are taken: cormorants are often noticed eating eels, but this may reflect the considerable time taken to subdue an eel and position it for swallowing, rather than any dominance of eels in the diet. In British waters, dive times of 20–30 seconds are common, with a recovery time on the surface around a third of the dive time.
The cormorant has special feathers, which allow the water to penetrate, enabling the bird to swim well under water. After fishing, cormorants stand in a characteristic pose, with wings out and neck extended. This was thought to be to dry their wings, but is now considered to help digestion.
Habitat: This is a very common and widespread bird species. It feeds on the sea, in estuaries, and on freshwater lakes and rivers. Northern birds migrate south and winter along any coast that is well-supplied with fish.
Distribution: All continents except South America.
Wikipedia, Great Cormorant