Clever cormorant learns fishing trick

PELICANS and gulls often reap the rewards around fish-cleaning tables but one greater pied cormorant in the Evans River has also learnt the benefit of hanging around recreational fishers.

This cunning bird paddles about quietly out of the way until an angler catches an undersized fish.

When the live fish is released, the cormorant rapidly dives into the depths to snaffle the disoriented catch and swallow it.

Even a sizeable flathead is no match for this feathered freeloader.

It's an ironic twist on that old relationship between cormorants and humans that has occurred since the 5th Century from Peru to Greece, China and Japan.

The human fits a ring to the neck of a cormorant that restricts the bird from swallowing large fish it has caught and the bird is trained to bring the fish back to the human.

Looks like the Evans Head bird has started training people!