Neotropic Cormorant Life History


Habitat Lakes and PondsVarious wetlands, including fresh, brackish, and saltwater habitats. Nests and roosts mostly in trees, but also on cliffs and human-made structures.Back to top


Food FishSmall fish and shrimp.Back to top


Nest Placement

Nest Tree

Nest Description

A rough bowl of sticks, sometimes cemented together with guano. Placed in trees, but also on cliffs and human-made structures. Nests in colonies.

Nesting Facts
Clutch Size:1-6 eggs
Egg Description:Light blue.
Condition at Hatching:Naked and helpless.
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Behavior Surface DiveDives from surface, using feet for propulsion through water. Catches fish under water, then takes prey to surface and swallows it headfirst. Also plunge-dives from above water.Back to top


Conservation Low ConcernIn the 1960s, Neotropic Cormorant populations declined severely in Texas; since then, these populations have shown a general trend toward growth. The cause of the declines is not conclusively understood. The North American Waterbird Conservation Plan estimates 16,000 breeding birds in North America, rates the species a 12 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score, and lists it as a Species of Moderate Concern. Neotropic Cormorant is not listed on the 2014 State of the Birds Report. Back to top


Kushlan, J. A., M. J. Steinkamp, K. C. Parsons, J. Capp, M. A. Cruz, M. Coulter, I. Davidson, L. Dickson, N. Edelson, R. Elliott, R. M. Erwin, S. Hatch, S. Kress, R. Milko, S. Miller, K. Mills, R. Paul, R. Phillips, J. E. Saliva, W. Sydeman, J. Trapp, J. Wheeler and K. Wohl (2002). Waterbird conservation for the Americas: The North American waterbird conservation plan, version 1. Washington, DC, USA.

Lutmerding, J. A. and A. S. Love. Longevity records of North American birds. Version 2015.2. Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Bird Banding Laboratory 2015.

North American Bird Conservation Initiative. (2014). The State of the Birds 2014 Report. US Department of Interior, Washington, DC, USA.

Sibley, D. A. (2014). The Sibley Guide to Birds, second edition. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, USA.

Telfair II, Raymond C. and M. L. Morrison. (2005). Neotropic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax brasilianus), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA.

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