The Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax Carbo, (Linnaeus, 1758) is a species of bird in the shag family.
It is a large bird with black body and a hook beak. There is however a large variation in size in the wide range of species. Cormorants of various weights have been reported, but the average weight is around 2.6 to 3.7 kg.
The length can range from 70 to 102 cm and the wingspan from 120 to 160 cm. It has a long elastic S-neck, which allows you to pass large fish to the esophagus. The adult specimen is distinguished from the young by the brown plumage. Well adapted to both fresh and salted water, the Cormorant enjoys a good view (up to nine metres). The feathers are permeable and therefore this bird spends a lot of time in the sun to dry the pens.
The legs, with large membranes, serve to give a big thrust under water. Also, when diving, it can reach a depth of 6 meters. It flies very well thanks to the wide wings and the tapered shape, instead the takeoff from the water is complicated because of the upright position of the legs and the weight of the water that impregnates the feathers.
The cormorant can be observed in almost every continent. In Italy there are scattered nesting, but always in environments with proximity of water, both internal as lakes and rivers, and on the coast. It can plunge to considerable depth, but it usually feeds into shallow water, bringing the prey to the surface. It feeds on a wide variety of fish.