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Great Cormorant

Phalacrocorax carbo ORDER: SULIFORMES FAMILY: PHALACROCORACIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

The Great Cormorant is the most widely distributed of all the cormorants, breeding in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. In North America, however, it is restricted to just the Atlantic Coast, breeding in only a few colonies from Maine to Greenland.

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At a GlanceHelp

Measurements
Both Sexes
Length
33.1–35.4 in
84–90 cm
Wingspan
51.2–63 in
130–160 cm
Weight
91.7–130.5 oz
2600–3700 g

Habitat


Shore-line

Breeds along rocky maritime coasts, nesting on cliff ledges or rocky islands free of predators, and feeding in sheltered inshore waters. Winters along coast.

Food


Fish

Fish.

Nesting

Nesting Facts
Clutch Size
1–7 eggs
Egg Description
Pale bluish green with white chalky covering.
Condition at Hatching
Naked and helpless, with black skin.
Nest Description

On rocks, nest is a mound or heap of seaweed and sticks; in trees, nest is a solid stick structure lined with grasses and feathers. Nests colonially, often with Double-crested Cormorants and gulls.

Nest Placement

Cliff

Behavior


Surface Dive

Dives from the surface of the water and chases prey underwater. Grabs fish in bill, without spearing it.

Conservation

status via IUCN

Least Concern

Populations greatly reduced in 19th century, probably from direct persecution; increased since early 20th century. Numbers in northwestern Atlantic not changing rapidly at present.

Range Map Help

Great Cormorant Range Map
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