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Great Cormorant

Naturalis Biodiversity Center

Naturalis Biodiversity Center

There is a good chance that you have seen this bird without realizing it. The cormorant can often be found perched on top of a streetlamp along the motorway drying its feathers. Only once its feathers are dry again, the cormorant can fly properly. Cormorants miss namely the water-repellent layer of fat on the feathers that other waterbirds have. This might seem impractical but without that layer of fat the cormorant can dive far deeper than other birds. This means they have less competition when hunting for food.

This specimen comes from the collection of the ornithologist Jan Pieter van Wickevoort Crommelin (1830-1891). The museum actually owes most of its stuffed Dutch migratory and sedentary birds to Van Wickevoort Crommelin. He was the leading expert on Dutch birds of his time. At the age of 30, Van Wickevoort Crommelin lost his eyesight as the result of an eye infection. Nevertheless, he continued to collect birds. He was able to recognise purely by touch which species he was holding in his hands.

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  • Title: Great Cormorant
  • Location: West Europe and North America
  • Rights: Naturalis Biodiversity Center / CC-BY 4.0
  • Wetenschappelijke naam: Phalacrocorax carbo
  • Registratienummer : NNP.008409
  • Meer informatie: http://www.natuurinformatie.nl/ndb.wnf/natuurdatabase.nl/i000588.html
  • Lengte: 80 - 100 cm
  • Klasse: Bird
  • Gewicht: Maximum 3.5 kg
  • Eetgewoontes: Living fish, such as: roach, perch, pike perch, and eel.

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