The first time I ever saw this bird the, Double - Crested Cormorant, it was swimming in the Gulf of Mexico and it looked like a black snake swimming. Once it flew out and landed on the beach I was so amazed to see how it stood so graceful and just stared at the ocean.
If you ever look at this bird closely you will see a hook like tip on its bill, which it uses when it is swimming underwater to catch its prey for its dinner. In many ways this bird resembles the Anhinga bird, and both these birds do not have oil glands to help waterproof their feathers. They both will be seen on the shoreline drying out their feathers, so it can fly again. The Cormorant feathers can be black or brown with a hint of a greenish tint to them. They are lean birds with short wings, and a long neck. When it’s breeding you will see a different look. It will have blue eyelids, orange on its throat sacs, and two black crests. These beautiful bright colors are used to attract the mate during the breeding season.They eat insects, amphibians, crustaceans and fish. One thing that’s cool about them is they can dive 120 to 300 feet deep in the water. They are very excellent at catching fish, that some of them will be trained to catch fish for people. After eating, the Cormorants regurgitate pellets containing indigestible fish bones, and animal parts ,just like Barn Owls do.
When you see them swimming and see just their heads sticking out of the water, is because their feathers are so waterlogged and weighing their body down. They will struggle getting out of the water. You will see them after the swimming, perched on a rock with their wings out drying their wet feathers. Otherwise, they will not be able to fly.
Their webbed feet help them to dive from the surface of the water, and catch their prey. Their colonies can have up to 4,000 members and many of them will even hunt together. Their short wings help them to be better swimmers. When you are ever at Florida check out the water, you just might think you see a snake, and it will be this COOL LOOKING BIRD!
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