About Pygmy Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmaeus) Danube Delta
The Pygmy Cormorant (Phalacrocoraxpygmaeus) is a touristic attraction of the Danube's Delta. Here nest around 10 to 12 thousands pairs, in 15 colonies. It is a migratory species, but its migration is only up to warm parts of Bulgaria and Greece. During the winters when the canals do not freeze, it remains in the Delta.
It is a bird which distinguishes itself and it has minion shapes. This species of cormorant has a small head and a small beak, but its tail is long. The plumage of an adult specimen is shimmering brown to purple. Its flight is chaotic and energetic. Also, this bird does not fly in formation.
The pygmy cormorant dives no more than 2 or 3 m in search of food. It prefers small fish, such as the tench, the Prussian carp, the northern pike and, also tadpoles.
This bird is considered the creator of mixed colonies. It nests alongside the great cormorant and the heron, but in the Delta there can be also found mono-specific colonies. When building their nest, these birds prefer to use grey willow shrubs or small willows. The female lays 2 or 3 eggs during the second half of April.
Tourism endangers the proliferation of this species. The boats, which come too close to the colonies, disturb the birds. During incubation, the situation becomes worse, because the parents leave the nest and the chicks left alone, fall and drown.
This species is vulnerable and it is protected by European regulations.