The Enigmatic Great Cormorant: A Comprehensive Exploration


The Great Cormorant, often seen standing majestically by water bodies, is a bird that commands attention. With its expansive wingspan and distinct black colouration, this bird is not only a sight to behold but also a fascinating subject of study. Known for its remarkable fishing skills, the Great Cormorant is a testament to the avian species’ ingenuity and resilience. Although commonly associated with coasts, the Great Cormorant has been adapting to different habitats, including freshwater lakes and artificial reservoirs. This guide aims to delve deep into the world of this enigmatic bird, from its physical characteristics to its feeding habits and status in the bird sanctuary and birdlife sanctuary circles.

Table of the Bird

Serial NumberCharacteristicsDescription
1Common nameGreat Cormorant
2Scientific namePhalacrocorax carbo
4Average length70 to 102 cm
5Average height40 to 63 cm (inverted)
6Type of birdSea, freshwater
7Found inCoastal and Inland waters
8HabitatSea, estuaries, freshwater
9IUCN StatusLeast Concern

Features of the Bird


When discussing bird image names and bird photos, the Great Cormorant’s length is a standout feature. Averaging between 70 and 102 cm, the bird shows some sexual dimorphism, with males generally more prominent than females. This makes it an imposing figure while perched and affects its speed and agility in the water. The expansive length allows it to cover larger areas while foraging, making it a proficient angler.


To the bird lover, the Great Cormorant’s height ranges from 40 to 63 cm when measured vertically inverted, making for compelling bird pictures and PNG files. This dimension contributes to the bird’s buoyancy and balance in water and land. While these measurements may not seem extraordinary compared to other large birds, they are crucial for the cormorant’s survival and efficacy as a predator.

Running Speed

To anyone visiting a bird shop near me, the Great Cormorant might not be the first bird associated with speed. Yet, make sure to let its often sedentary pose mislead you. Though primarily known for its flying and swimming abilities, this bird can cover ground quickly when needed, especially when it feels threatened or is searching for a better vantage point for fishing.


While bird flying pictures often capture the Great Cormorant in action, its black colour makes it distinct. Dark plumage is more than just a visual trait; it aids in heat absorption, which is essential for a bird that spends considerable time in the water. This colouration also provides some level of camouflage during its fishing escapades.

Habitat and Food of the Bird

  1. Distribution: The Great Cormorant is a well-traveled bird, found near various water bodies including seas, estuaries, and freshwater lakes and rivers. Bird migration isn’t uncommon among Northern populations.
  1. Seasonal Variations: With bird nest building often taking place near wetlands, rivers, and inshore waters, these birds are largely sedentary, although northern populations tend to migrate south during winters.
  1. Diet: Their bird house might be near the water, but their grocery store is in it. Primarily feeding on fish, their diet includes wrasses, sand smelt, flatheads, and common soles.
  1. Foraging: The bird’s large size allows it to catch bigger fish, especially during winter months. They’re so efficient that they’ve been estimated to consume up to 80 kg of fish per hectare each year in some freshwater systems.
  1. Human-made Habitats: In places like Serbia, artificial lakes have become a new habitat for these birds, showing their adaptability and impact on local ecosystems.

Nesting and Nurturing

For birdlife, the Great Cormorant’s nesting behaviour is intriguing. Usually nesting in colonies, pairs often use the same nest site year after year. Built from sticks, nests can be found in trees, cliffs, or predator-free ground. These nests often contain three to five pale blue or green eggs, which are incubated for about 28 to 31 days. For those who are into birdhouse setups, the nesting behaviours of the Great Cormorant can offer insights into natural yet complex nesting structures.


Though not immediately apparent in bird shops, the Great Cormorant does face several threats. Overfishing and pollution in their habitats can severely impact their food supply. Another lesser-known threat is albinism, which usually leads to poor eyesight and hearing, making survival in the wild complex.

IUCN Status and Conservation

Listed as ‘Least Concern’ by the IUCN, the Great Cormorant is not currently endangered. However, given the increasing environmental pressures, there is a need for continuous monitoring and conservation efforts. The bird is often seen in bird sanctuaries and birdlife sanctuaries, which play a significant role in its conservation.


To the bird lover, the Great Cormorant stands as a symbol of both grace and survival. Whether it’s flying, fishing, or just standing still, there’s something to admire in every posture, every action, and every bird image name of this remarkable bird. It’s a creature that challenges our understanding of adaptability, reminding us why the world of birds is as captivating as it is complex.

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