CORMORANT

INFORMATION

This cormorant bird is endemic to the Galapagos and is only found in Fernandina and Isabela Islands where the oceans high productivity assures their existence.

This species has very strong legs and well-adapted webbed feet for diving and seeking for food. They prey on eels, small fish, and octopus. They hunt in shallow waters no further than 100 meters from the coast and are remarked for being sedentary.

This species had the chance to adapt to the need of feeding mainly underwater and to the absence of predators to escape from. Its wings are now one-third of the size they should be in order to fly, and the flying muscles have adapted to a better swimming shape. Males are much larger than the females.

The courtship ritual happens in the water. Both swim around each other with a snakelike posture of the neck and lifting from the water every now and then. Then, the male leads the way out of the water, keeping the neck shape.

They lay usually 3 eggs but generally only one survives after hatching 35 days after. Nesting occurs mainly fromMarch to October. Females can breed 3 times a year. There are less than 1,200 cormorants in the archipelago today. They live around13 years.

They can be seen on the shoreline drying their feathers, as they are not waterproof. They produce very little wax so they need to constantly comb and take care of their plumage.

OTHER SPECIES

Cormorant

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