Sea bird turns 'superbird' on camera

July 31, 2012 at 7:42 PM
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NEW YORK, July 31 (UPI) -- A South American sea bird fitted with a small camera stunned watchers as it became "superbird," diving underwater for almost 3 minutes to feed, researchers say.

Researchers from the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society and the National Research Council of Argentina recently fitted an imperial cormorant with the camera then watched as it dove 150 feet underwater in 40 seconds, cruised on the ocean floor for 80 seconds until it caught a fish, then returned to the surface 40 seconds later.

This is the first time researchers have gotten a first-hand look at the feeding techniques of these birds that live on the coast of Argentina, a WCS release said Tuesday.

The camera footage was captured off of Punta Leon in Patagonia, Argentina, a coastal protected area supporting more than 3,500 pairs of imperial cormorants, WCS researchers said.

The WCS has tracked more than 400 cormorants along the coast of Argentina to identify priority feeding areas.

The research will help design new protected areas and to understand environmental conditions that affect cormorant populations, the group said.

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