Guest Author - Lisa Shea
Cormorants are known as swimming birds because they dive into the water after fish, swimming after them. Cormorants can dive up to 20 feet down and can swim for 30 seconds underwater. When they are done swimming, they land on nearby branches, holding their wings outstretched to dry.
Cormorants are similar to Anhingas, but cormorants have hooked beaks. They are fully known as the double breasted cormorant, or Phalacrocorax auritus.
We see cormorants when we go down to visit the Everglades in Florida. They are actually found across the US, anywhere there are marshy water areas. They're found in the lower areas of Canada and upper areas of Mexico as well.
Cormorants have dark bodies, with males and females looking relatively similar. They have long beaks with a downward hook at the end, that helps them grab fish underwater. In comparison, the Anhinga's beak is pointy and can spear a fish on its tip.
Cormorants lay 2-4 eggs at a time, which incubate for just under a month. The young chicks are tended for 2 1/2 months before they fly off on their own. Cormorants primarily eat fish.