Why is the large cormorant so called?

          The large cormorant or the great cormorant is a cormorant as large as a goose, as its name suggests. This bird is mainly black and has a yellow patch on its face. Its bill is long and hooked. The female birds are slightly smaller when compared to the male birds. The bird has a wingspan of about 160 cm. Their weight can vary from 1.5 kg to as heavy as around 5.3 kg.

          These birds are very commonly seen in seas, estuaries, fresh water lakes and rivers. Although they can dive to considerable depths, they often prefer to feed in shallow waters and bring their prey to the surface before eating. They breed in colonies in tall trees and try to keep away from other birds. Their nests are made from seaweed and twigs. They roost on the branches of tall trees or pylons.

           The large cormorants are very common in India. Since our fishermen found it very difficult to compete with these birds for fish, they were once heavily hunted nearly to extinction. It was due to deliberate conservation efforts that the number of these birds increased again.