Greater Cormorants: Fishing Experts

During the winter months, a number of migratory birds visit India from the countries where winter is very severe and food availability becomes low. These annual visitors add colour to the season.

Many of the migratory birds are water waders and land in the lakes , big pools and other water bodies. Amongst these are greater Cormorants. They are huge birds and expert fishers. They hunt in groups and there is great jostling and fighting for the catch snatching.

In older days the trained Cormorants were used for river fishing in Japan and China. A snare was tied at the end of the neck which in addition to keeping the cormorant under leash also prevented the Cormorants from eating the fish except for smaller ones. As soon as the bird caught a fish, it was taken out from water and made to spit out the fish.

Nowadays, it is only a tourist attraction.

During December a number of these big birds descend on Sulkhna Lake in Chandigarh. I took some pictures.

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A group fishing
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Sun soaking on a tree

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