Frenetic Feeding Behavior

August 19, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Watching a Brandt’s Cormorant feed its young can be quite surprising, even alarming for first time viewers, as the technique (at least for more mature chicks) can seem somewhat violent or painful. As with many other birds, the parents regurgitate food, which is triggered by the begging behavior of the young birds. What’s so unexpected, however, is the apparent roughness of the maneuver as the chick reaches deep into the parent’s throat.

Below is a video of a fairly mature nestling begging and being fed twice by its parent:

Brandt's Cormorants; adult feeding youngNesting is fed twice during this 2-minute video.

Carmel, CA


Once the young birds fledge, they still rely on their parents for food, even though they may have grown to adult size. These feedings are even rougher than for the younger birds, causing an onlooker to wonder if the birds are fighting. Here’s a video of a full-sized fledgling begging and being fed by its parent:

Brandt's Cormorants, adult feeding fledglingA young (but full-sized) cormorant is fed by its parent.

Carmel, CA

 


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