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  • Writer's pictureS Santosh Kumar (sukubirder)

Braggart of Bharatpur: Great Cormorant

Updated: Mar 27, 2023


(Nikon D5600, 200-500mm lens; 1/500, f/5.6, ISO125; hand-held)


Of the three cormorants residing in India, Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) is the largest. It has worldwide presence as it is found across the Old World, Australia and along the Atlantic coast of North America, but its size and plumage vary across the continents. It is a heavyset bird with an overall glossy black plumage, brownish wings and a short tail. Head is large and angular with bluish-green eyes, a stout hooked beak, and yellow gular skin. In the breeding season, extensive white short plumes appear on the head and neck, a red spot on the base of the bill and a white feather patch near the thighs. This bird’s exceptional fishing skills have been exploited by humans in certain parts of the world by taming them and taking them fishing on a leash and putting a restriction around the neck to prevent them from swallowing the catch. In other places, they have been trained to drive fish into fishing nets. They are also being hunted for sport and food.

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