Is a Cormorant a Bird or Fish?

Yes, a cormorant is a bird, not fish. This is also called a water bird or Chinese fishing bird with body weights between 0.35 and 5 kilos (0.77 and 11.02 lb). Except for Antarctica, the cormorant species is widespread around the planet.

Cormorant colonies have been observed herding fish for better chasing. In more modern times, fishermen have regarded the cormorant as a good luck charm that will bring them a bountiful catch. 

Sound interesting, right? Alright!!! No more delay; let’s diminish the controversy: Cormorant a bird or fish!!!

Is A Cormorant A Bird or Fish?

Cormorants are wild birds of middle to large size. They are known for having dark-colored feathers and wings ranging from 60 to 100 cm.

They are adept divers who push themselves fast. Utilizing their webbed feet, they navigated the water wings as propellers. They are seen to represent virtue and satisfaction in many cultures.

They can also be seen with their wings spread out, sleeping on their backs. Cormorant flocks frequently fly in crooked lines or sloppy V shapes.

Cormorants have high-set heads, slightly bent necks, low-hanging bellies, and labored wingbeats when flying.

For the most part, species have dark feathers. Between each of their four toes is a webbing.

Cormorants are any of the about 26–30 species of waterbirds that belong to the Phalacrocoracidae family.

Are Cormorants Solitary (Lonely) Birds?

No, Cormorants are not solitary birds because they are found in colonial nest forms.

Cormorants are often friendly birds that breed in colonies, congregate in flocks, and frequently hunt in packs of up to 4,000 birds.


 Usually, after three years, a bird will breed. Colonies that may include wading birds and other birds. They catch fish by diving from the surface, pursuing their prey underneath, and grabbing it with their hooked bill.

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Are Cormorant Birds Protected?

Yes, Cormorant birds are protected. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), which incorporates four international conservation agreements that the United States made with Canada, Japan, Mexico, and Russia, protects cormorants.

They can only be put to death lawfully with a USFWS permit. Individuals have received this authorization from the organization.

Are Cormorants Intelligent? Are They Friendly?

Yes, Cormorants are intelligent and friendly as they exhibit smart behavior and exist in colonies.

Various additional birds have complex intelligence, much like crows. Among them are cormorants. Their intelligence may be the secret to their adaptability.

In nations like China and Japan, cormorants have been taught to fish for people. A cormorant’s neck is wrapped with fishing twine by fishermen.

The fisherman may remove the fish by opening the cormorant’s beak when they dive and surface with it because they cannot consume it.

Why Do Cormorants Shake Their Throats?

Cormorants shake their throats to avoid heat loss. This allows them to get through the heat stress issue.

Like dogs pant and people sweat, “gular fluttering” describes a bird opening its mouth and flapping its upper throat muscles to assist heat escape.

 Some species will also engage in regular fluttering when it’s heated. The bird will flutter its neck muscles and open its beak to facilitate heat dissipation.

Why Do Cormorants Swim Under Kayaks?

Cormorants swim under kayaks because they are exceptionally skilled swimmers and mostly eat by diving underwater to catch fish.


Cormorants are found throughout North America and are frequently seen by kayakers in the St. Pete Beach and Tampa Bay areas. Because we assist in agitating fish lurking in the shallow seagrass meadows, they occasionally follow kayaks.

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On occasion, they will even catch a ride while drying their wings.

Negative Socio-Economic Effects of Cormorants

Cormorants are powerful agents of environmental change. Cormorants harm other bird and fish species through competition for breeding sites and the vegetation surrounding those locations.

The negative socioeconomic effects of cormorants rank second. Due to their mating and roosting habits, they may deplete a flora landscape and cover it in guano.

Commercial fisheries, aquaculture operations, fish-related industries, and water quality are all hindered by cormorants.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is cormorant fishing cruel?

No, the cormorant is not a cruel fish. It is a friendly and social fish. But some in some journals said they found some visitors who claimed they find cormorants cruel.

Do cormorants bite? Do they destroy trees?

Ouch! Yes, cormorants can bite and their bite may draw blood. Besides this, cormorants destroy trees by removing tiny branches and leaves from trees to use as nesting material.

What Birds are look like a cormorant?

Following are the birds that look like cormorants:

  • Great cormorant is the main specie.
  • Double-crested Cormorant
  • Brandt’s cormorant
  • Pelagic cormorant
  • Red-faced cormorant
  • Shrags
  • Cormorant duck
  • Mergansers who have red breasts


Wild birds of medium to big size are cormorants. They are distinguished by their black feathers and 60 to 100-centimeter wings. In many cultures, they are viewed as symbols of morality and fulfillment.

Any roughly 26–30 species of waterbirds known as cormorants are friendly birds that breed in colonies and belong to the Phalacrocoracidae family.

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