Utter the word “cormorant” around a group of anglers, and you’ll probably get an earful. They’re fast-swimming, fish-eating machines and there seem to be more and more of them around. But regardless of how you feel, you have to admit, this is pretty impressive…

From this story on
An international team of researchers associated with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) recently fitted a South American sea bird with a small camera. The researchers were stunned as they observed the imperial cormorant dive 150 feet underwater in 40 seconds, feeding on the ocean floor for 80 seconds where it caught a snakelike fish before returning to the surface.

This is the first time researchers were able to observe the amazing feeding techniques of these fascinating birds first-hand, which typically occur off the coast of Argentina.

The camera is attached to the bird’s back, so the view is of its head as it pumps its feet to swim deeper. When it finally reaches the ocean floor, the cormorant 
explores a vast area searching for food – eventually catching an elongated fish which it brings to the surface to eat.

So it can dive 150 feet in forty seconds, and then hang out for another eighty before jetting back to the surface. Wow. Glad I’m not a small fish. Anyone have any interesting cormorant experiences?