Cormorant — (Lev. 11:17; Deut. 14:17), Heb. shalak, “plunging,” or “darting down,” (the Phalacrocorax carbo), ranked among the “unclean” birds; of the same family group as the pelican. It is a “plunging” bird, and is common on the coasts and the island seas of Palestine. Some think the Hebrew word should be rendered “gannet” (Sula bassana, “the solan goose”); others that it is the “tern” or “sea swallow,” which also frequents the coasts of Palestine as well as the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan valley during several months of the year. But there is no reason to depart from the ordinary rendering.
In Isa. 34:11, Zeph. 2:14 (but in R.V., “pelican”) the Hebrew word rendered by this name is ka˒ath. It is translated “pelican” (q.v.) in Ps. 102:6. The word literally means the “vomiter,” and the pelican is so called from its vomiting the shells and other things which it has voraciously swallowed. (See PELICAN.)