Cormorants are gluttonous birds unpopular with almost everyone


Sportfishermen hate them. Aquafarmers see them as a threat to their livelihood. Property owners watch them threaten the beauty and value of their property.

Cormorants have insatiable appetites for fish. A single bird will consume over a pound of fish every day. The same bird might also kill or wound double that amount that they don’t eat.

I enjoy watching most predatory birds, like hawks, herons, eagles and ospreys. They are efficient and basically clean birds. They also tend not to congregate in large groups.

Cormorants are different. Their nests are often close together and many, often dozens can be seen hunting together. They can really wipe out a school of fish in a hurry. They can also cause hundreds of dollars of damage to an aquaculture pond in a day or two.

A problem farmers and homeowners face is that these birds are federally protected. They fall under the…

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Some wild birds rely on people


There are over three dozen species of sparrows and roughly 75 percent of them can be found in North Carolina. Most inhabit open areas with a few trees. Some have distinctive calls. However, there is one sparrow never found truly in the wild, and that’s the house sparrow, commonly called the English sparrow.

House sparrows originated from the middle east. From there, they moved to Europe and Asia. Eventually, many stowed away on boats to the Americas, Australia and many other places.

House sparrows only live in places inhabited by people. Be it in cities, suburbs or farms, there is always one constant. People are nearby. Humans give them protection without realizing it.

Most bird watchers or casual feeders of birds don’t particularly like these squatters eating the feed meant for other songbirds. However, people don’t often hunt sparrows down and kill them either. Consequently, over hundreds of years, these…

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