Cormorants are fascinating birds that inhabit various parts of the world. They are known to live near bodies of water and primarily find their food in the water. Their habitat ranges from coastlines and rivers to lakes and ponds.
The lifestyle of cormorants is closely tied to their ability to hunt both underwater and in the air. These birds have a sleek body structure with long necks and sharp beaks that enable them to catch fish and other water-based prey. They are excellent divers and can cover remarkable distances underwater to pursue their prey.
A remarkable behavior of cormorants is their takeoff pattern. Unlike many other birds that take off from trees or the ground, cormorants usually launch directly from the water. There are several reasons why they prefer this takeoff method.
Firstly, taking off from the water provides them with an efficient way to wet their wings. The feathers of cormorants are not water-resistant like those of ducks or geese. By dipping into the water before taking off, they can saturate their feathers, which helps them during flight by reducing their buoyancy and making them lighter.
Secondly, cormorants typically find their food in the water before taking off. Since they primarily hunt fish, they dive underwater to catch their prey. Taking off from the water allows them to stay close to their hunting grounds and immediately dive back into the water if they spot another opportunity to capture prey.
Lastly, taking off from the water also offers some safety for cormorants. When they are on the water, they are less visible to potential predators and can quickly escape by simply taking flight.
Photos were taken with the Pentax K3 III and the Pentax 560 mm F5.6.