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Making a living with fine-feathered friends

Making a living with fine-feathered friends

Song Shuzhi poles his fishing boat with his cormorants on Mata Lake, Huantai county in Shandong province.(Photo/China Daily)

Accompanied by his 12 cormorants in a small boat, Song Shuzhi set out in the early morning light to fish in Mata Lake, Huantai county in East China's Shandong province.

On this occasion, the birds brought in nearly 25 kilograms of fish: a catch that Song described as "not bad".

"I can get more than 100 yuan ($14.50) from today's harvest," the 70-year-old said. "They did a good job."

To reward his feathered friends, Song untied the cattail-fiber nooses from around their necks and allowed them to fly back out over the lake to catch their own breakfast. "The noose prevents them from swallowing the fish they catch while they are working," he said. About 20 minutes after setting them loose, Song called the cormorants back to his boat using a special vocal signal that he has developed, and then headed on home.

[ Editor: Xueying ]