This weeks #FactFriday is looking into the great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) you can see these birds along the river Clyde and Kelvin where they overwinter along the coast.
These large birds live in freshwater and marine environments. They have a primitive appearance, looking almost reptillian. While their feathers may look black, they actually have a blue/green sheen. Their beak has a sharp hook on the end used for catching fish.
Cormorants are sociable birds and can be spotted in groups resting on rocks together. They have been reported to form colonies of up to 20,000 birds! They hunt in flocks where they will dive up to 10m in pursuit of fish.
Their average lifespan is 11-20 years and are 1 of only 2 species which have been trained by Japanese fisherman to help catch fish.
Cormorants are sometimes confused with shags. They can be differentiated, however, by the more prominent yellow around their face and bigger beak. Shags are also usually only found solitary along the coast while cormorants can be found on the coast or inland and usually stick in groups.