Three cormorants sitting up a tree by the Medway River in Maidstone, Kent. This breed is known as the Great Black Cormorant in the UK and also the Black Cormorant, The Large Cormorant and the Black Shag – in various other parts of the english-speaking world. I have seen Cormorants many times along this river, catching fish and mixing with other birds, but had not seen three together like this until I took these pictures. Two of the birds appear younger than the other one, suggesting they could be related, in which case it is likely these cormorants have been breeding somewhere along the river . This was rare in the past, when cormorants were hunted due to their threat to fishing stocks because of their excellent fish catching skills. During these times they would breed on coastlines out of the way of humans. Recent conservation efforts have increased cormorant numbers and they breed more often inland nowadays.