Why do cormorants spread their wings?

by Russ on April 13, 2016

Cormorants can be seen flying along rivers and canals, even in urban areas.Walking along a river there are many different birds you can spot. From coots to herons, each has their own uniqueness, beauty and charisma.

But above the birds swimming in the water and nesting in the trees, another, much larger bird can be seen. Sitting out of the water, holding its wings outstretched is the sleek shape of the Cormorant.

The Cormorant is a large water bird which has a long neck and a long pointed beak. Its feathers are mostly brown with the odd bit of white depending on the age.

Thanks to the changes mankind has made to the countryside, with fishing lodges and a maze of canals, the Cormorant has been able to move inland from its ancestral coastal home and can now by seen flying through the middle of cities like Manchester.

Cormorants spread their wings to help dry their feathers out.With a sharp green eye, the Cormorant will land on the water surface before putting its head under the surface to look for any signs of food. If it sees something of interest, it will dive below the surface in pursuit.

However, unlike ducks the Cormorant cannot make is feathers waterproof. So when it is finished fishing the best way it can become dry again is to sit out of the water, face the sun and open its wings.

The warmth of the sun dries out the bird and so the Cormorant can be seen literally ‘sun worshipping’.

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