Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)

A bird with almost completely black coloration with a metallic sheen. During the mating season its crop and the inner side of the hips are whitish (the Latin name Phalacrocorax literally means “bald raven”). We encounter the bird by rivers and other water bodies. When swimming on the water it resembles the silhouette of the great crested grebe, however, it is much bigger than that one. The body is deeply submerged in the water, and the head and neck lifted up high. The cormorant is a gregarious species which feeds and rests in droves the whole year through. A sign of the presence of this bird in the given area are dirty white droppings on the trees, which die after many years as a result of a strong acidification of the soil. The cormorants builds the nests on trees, and the chicks are altricial. They feeds almost exclusively on fish that they hunt diving into the water. After each dive, however, they must dry their feathers. Then the bird assumes a characteristic posture. It stands with outstretched wings, gently fanning them from time to time.

Confusing words

Altricial species – a group of birds whose chicks after hatching are frail and require the care of their parents, thus spending a longer time in the nest.