Cormorant (Phalacrocoracidae)

Appearance
There are two species of Cormorant found in Kenya. The Long-tailed or Reed Cormorant, a large bird, 22 inches (56cm) and the Great Cormorant, a very large bird, 40 inches (100cm).

Habits
Long-tailed Cormorants are seen around lake shores, usually on its own or in loose flocks, Great Cormorants are more gregarious and are generally seen in vast flocks. Both are powerful underwater swimmers, due to their fully webbed feet and are able to swim to considerable depths. However, their feathers are not waterproof and they are often seen with wings outstretched, drying themselves - maybe to regulate their body temperature, too.

Diet
Cormorants mainly eat fish and frogs. They capture them in their bills, exerting water through a 'gular pouch' - situated behind the Cormorant's bill.

Resident
Both Cormorant species are to be found around the large lakes of Kenya, the Long-tailed Cormorant also being seen in coastal and alkaline waters.

Extra Cormorant Facts
Cormorants build uncomfortable looking nests out of sticks, either on the ground or in trees.

Photographs
Photographed at Kenya's Lake Victoria.

Great Cormorant

Great Cormorant

Reed Cormorant

Reed Cormorant