Fishing with Cormorant birds is a common sight in China but few tourists really get to see it close up. The Cormorant Bird has a ring around it’s throat so it can not swallow the fish. It does not hurt the bird and the fishermen treat their birds very well as pets. One thing I noticed was that the birds after being in the water stretch their wings out as if to let the air dry them. Cormorants unlike other birds do not have oil in their feathers to repel water. They actually dive into the water and swim down to catch fish as large as 3 to 5 lbs. then bring them up and dump them in the fisherman’s boat. They are rewarded with food they can swallow past the ring. A wonderful place to see this up close is actually in the city of Guilin. You can take the evening boat excursion through the 5 connecting lakes in the city which is wonderful with all the lights along the shore and lighted pagodas and bridges. You will see the fishermen with their birds as close as 10 feet as you pass them in the darkness seeing the birds bring in the fish and waving at the fishermen as you pass. Tickets for the cruise can be bought at the dock or ask your tour operator such as myself to include it in your tour. Check us out at
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