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4

Pied Cormorant

(Phalacrocorax varius)
Alternate name(s): "Yellow-faced Cormorant", "Pied Shag", "Black-and-white Shag*"
Aboriginal name(s): "madi" (WA)

Size: 65-80 cm; wing span 1.0-1.5 m
Weight: 1.4-2.2 kg

Similar species

Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Pied Cormorant at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

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Race "hypoleucos"

ADULT

BREEDING

Near-frontal view of a Pied Cormorant in breeding plumage (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Caloundra, QLD, August 2017]

Lateral view of a Pied Cormorant in full breeding plumage; note the brightness and the radiant colours of the facial skin (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Cape Borda, Kangaroo Island, SA, March 2016]

Close-up lateral portrait of a Pied Cormorant in full breeding plumage; note the brightness and the radiant colours of the facial skin (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Cape Borda, Kangaroo Island, SA, March 2016]

Lateral view of a Pied Cormorant in breeding plumage (photo courtesy of S. Kirkby)
[Ord River, WA, June 2011]

Lateral view of two Pied Cormorants in breeding plumage; note the bright colours of their facial skin patches and eyerings; the black flanks distinguish them from Little Pied Cormorants
[Iluka NR, NSW, February 2012]

Dorsal view of a Pied Cormorants in breeding plumage (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Alfred Cove, Swan River, Perth, WA, January 2017]

NON-BREEDING

Near-frontal view of a Pied Cormorant in non-breeding plumage (photo courtesy of J. Thurmer)
[Semaphore Beach, SA, February 2009]

Lateral view of a Pied Cormorant in non-breeding plumage
[Yarrie Lake, near Wee Waa, NSW, October 2011]

Dorsal view of a Pied Cormorant in non-breeding plumage
[Yarrie Lake, near Wee Waa, NSW, October 2011]

Group of four Pied Cormorants in flight
[Goran Lake, NSW, August 2011]

Great Cormorants and Pied Cormorants can be seen to fly together in one chevron
[Near Moree, NSW, June 2013]

Pied Cormorant returning to its roost after a day's worth of fishing in coastal waters
[Old Bar, NSW, July 2013]

Breeding information

Breeding season: Dec - Jun Eggs: 2 - 4 Incubation period: ca. 30 days Fledging age: ca. 28 days

The breeding season of Pied Cormorants depends on geographical latitude. In principle they can breed at any time of year.

Nest building: Female & male Incubation: Female & male Dependent care: Female & male

Nest

"bungobittah", "malunna" = nest [Aboriginal]

Type: Stick basket Material: ? Height above ground: 0 - 10 m

Coastal nests can be on the ground, on rocks, while inland nests are usually built in trees. In coastal river estuaries nests can be at low height, e.g. in mangrove.

Pied Cormorant on its nest (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)

Eggs

"boyanga", "booyanga", "derinya", "dirandil", "koomura", "ngampu", "nooluk", "pateena" = Egg; "dirundirri" = eggs [Aboriginal]; "gawu" = eggs [gamilaraay]

Size: 60 x 40 mm Colour: Faint-blue, chalky Shape: Long tapered oval

Behaviour

Social behaviour: Communal Mobility: Dispersive Elementary unit: Pair/flock

Food, Diet

Like most other members of the Phalacrocorax family, Pied Cormorants feed primarily on fish.

This Pied Cormorant may have taken a baitfish, with the hook it was on - the fishing line is still dangling from the bird's bill (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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