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Cormorant in Winter

Zoos are often special places where animal behaviour may differ from that in the wild. Our Zoo is such a place, too.

There is a joint exhibit where two species of totipalmate birds - pelicans and cormorants - live together. Both species come from the fauna of Ukraine. They live in colonies along the Black Sea and the Azov Sea coasts. In our Zoo these feathered individuals feel comfortable in Spring and in Autumn when they swim in open ponds and stay in the sun. Fledglings of cormorants that were born in the Zoo, have a possibility to fly from one pond to another, they do that but they never leave the Zoo. When Winter comes, pelicans and cormorants go to their winter "apartment" that has a swimming pool. But this winter one of the cormorants was opposed to such a plan and preferred to stay in the pond. Wild ducks kept him company.These ducks come to the Zoo each winter because there is food and possibility to swim in the open water parch in the frozen pond. They seldom have such a possibilityin the wild. 


The most important factor for cormorants is not the temperature of the air, our winter is not too cold of late. What they need more is an infrozen patch of water and food. Our cormorant is quite comfortable there as there is enough fish in the pond and he has no concurrents in fishing.