Re: cormorants or shags?

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Posted by Jonathan Labaree on December 05, 2002 at 15:13:23 from user JLabaree.

In Reply to: Re: cormorants or shags? posted by Duncan on December 05, 2002 at 11:35:53:

Thank you for the responses. I guess I’ve proved my east coast bias again by not realizing that west coast “cormorants” are indeed shags. “Shag” is, as I said, a derogatory term we use (but I don’t think that’s any reflection on the “other” coast). I’m not sure why we looked down on cormorants, especially since one of our favorite books growing up was Ping, about a pet cormorant in Japan (?China? - gosh, I don’t remember) where they use them for fishing by putting a ring around their necks so they can’t swallow the fish.

Now I admire their fishing ability and very much enjoy watching them from my office window during the spring alewife run when the river here is choked with fish and the birds eat to their hearts' content. We have both the double-crested cormorant and the great cormorant here in Maine, but the former is far more common.

Anyone know if there is any connection with the other meaning of that term? Are cormorants particularly libidinous? There are certainly plenty of them around.

- Jonathan

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