[Three Hundred Animals Contents]
IS a large water bird of the order of anseres, or geese, and has been cursed, if we may say so without blasphemy, with a most voracious appetite; for he is of a very rapacious disposition. He lives upon all sorts of fish; the fresh water and the briny waves of the sea, both pay a large contribution to his craving stomach. The bill is about five inches in length and of a dusky colour; the predominant tints of the body are black and dark green. They were formerly tamed in England for the purpose of catching fish as the falcons and hawks for chasing the fleet inhabitants of the air. We are told that the custom is still in full practice in China. This bird, although of the acquatic kind, is often seen, like the pelican, perched upon trees; and Milton tells us that Satan
“- on the tree of life,
The middle tree, and highest there that grew,
Sat like a Cormorant.”
————————————————-PARADISE LOST, iv. 194.