Watch This Cormorant Battle With a Huge Fish Before Somehow Swallowing It Whole

Double-crested cormorant with fish

Written by Chris Madden

Published: February 12, 2024

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Confident Cormorant Fights a Huge Fish Before Swallowing the Thing Whole!

In the amazing instagram post at the bottom of the page, a close up video of a cormorant struggling with its meal! The aquatic bird is floating on the ocean’s surface, tossing a huge fish around in its long beak! The fish it’s trying to swallow is huge, and at first glance it looks like there’s no way this could work! As it tries to reposition the fish to swallow it down, the fish wrestles out of its grasp! But the cormorant refuses to give up its battle, and dives its head underwater after the fish! 

Reappearing above the surface, the cormorant has the fish by the edge of its beak! The sharp end of the sea bird’s beak is perfectly adapted to grab hold of prey with the smallest of margins! The cormorant has the fish by the gills, but there’s still lots of work to do to eat it!  It once again tries to force it down its throat, but ends up dropping the fish yet again! The video cuts to the cormorant, finally with the fish’s head in its beak! 

Beautiful light Great Cormorant spreading his wings sitting on a stone

Beautiful light Great Cormorant spreading his wings sitting on a stone.

What looked like an impossible, insurmountable task at the start of the video ends up being an incredible show of a cormorant’s ability! A fish that’s nearly half the size of the bird gets swallowed down like a noodle! As it makes the last few gulps to get the fish down its throat, the cormorant turns to face the camera! Showing off its yellow coloring and blue eyes, a menacing glint is in the cormorant’s eye as the fish is fully gobbled up!

Cormorants Have An Incredible Ability to Choke Down Any Size Snack!

Cormorants, like we see in the astounding clip below, can devour fish that are comparatively huge in size! They defy the limits one would think are set by their thin beaks and throats. This incredible feat can be seen in much of the world, as cormorants live across numerous continents. They span continents and prominent bodies of water. Especially populous in countries such as China, Japan, and throughout parts of North America and Europe, cormorants thrive. 

Large colony of Cormorants on a pier in Oamaru, Otago, South Island, New Zealand

Large colony of cormorants gather on a dock, staying close to their aquatic hunting grounds!

They can make the most out of their aquatic skill set in coastal regions, freshwater lakes, and even river systems. These adept fishers still face threats from predators, like eagles or even sharks and large fish such as groupers. These predators seize opportunities to snatch cormorants while they sit on the surface. Being out on the surface gives these birds good opportunities to hunt, but they’re easily visible!

Even with these threats, cormorants boast an impressive lifespan of 6 all the way up to 25 years old! Nesting in colonies on cliffs, trees, or rocky outcrops, cormorants raise their chicks with communal care. They share the responsibilities of hunting and protection, ensuring a better chance of their young’s survival.

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About the Author

Chris is a lifelong animal lover with a passion for writing and a natural tendency to explore the internet in pursuit of new wildlife and nature facts! He is completing his Bachelors in Political Science at Concordia University in the Spring of 2024 after a science-centric high school career. Aside from studying and writing for A-Z Animals, he has a budding music career and enjoy spending time outside year-round, from swimming to skiing!

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