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4

Great Cormorant

(Phalacrocorax carbo)
Alternate name(s): "Black Cormorant", "Black Shag", "Large Black Cormorant", "Great Black Cormorant"
German name(s): "Kormoran"

Size: 70-102 cm; wingspan: 1.2-1.6 m
Weight: 1.2-3.0 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 Great Cormorant at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "carbo"

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

First-year Great Cormorants on a rock (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Skjervoy, near Tromso, Norway, June 2018]

Race "sinensis"

ADULT

Sex unknown

BREEDING

Lateral view of a Great Cormorant breeding plumage with nuptial flush; note the white thigh patches, the white neck, nuchal tuft, orange/bronze facial skin and the spots around the eye-ring (photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Sesimbra, Setubal, Portugal, February 2018]

NON-BREEDING

Close-up near-frontal view of an adult Great Cormorant with a juvenile behind (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[November 2017]

Lateral view of a Great Cormorant (photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Coruche, Santarem, Portugal, February 2018]

Near-dorsal view of a Great Cormorant drying its plumage (photo courtesy of H. Dahlem-Senger)
[River Rhine, Schierstein, Rheingau, Germany, March 2013]

Dorsal view of a Great Cormorant drying its plumage (photo courtesy of H. Dahlem-Senger)
[River Rhine, Schierstein, Rheingau, Germany, March 2013]

Flock of Great Cormorants roosting on a sandbank (photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Montargil, Alentejo, Portugal, February 2017]

Overview of a small group of Great Cormorants (photo courtesy of H. Dahlem-Senger)
[Fehmarn, Germany, January 2015]

Comparison between 2 Great Cormorants, right, in non-breeding plumage with five European Shags, left to centre
(photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Sagres, Algarve, Portugal]

Great Cormorants in non-breeding plumage in comparison with a Great [White] Egret (photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Santa Justa, Coruche, Portugal, November 2018]

Frontal view of a Great Cormorant landing on water (photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, December 2013]

Lateral view of a Great Cormorant in flight (photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Coruche, Santarem, Portugal, January 2018]

Small flock of Great Cormorants in flight (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[River Bug, near Brok, Masovia, Poland, March 2019]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Close-up near-frontal view of an adult Great Cormorant with a juvenile behind (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[November 2017]

Adult Great Cormorant, front left, with a juvenile behind and a first-year immature bird, front right, all in comparison with a Grey Heron (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[November 2017]

First-year immature Great Cormorants with a juvenile, front centre, and behind it a non-breeding adult
(photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Mequinenza, Zaragoza, Aragon, Spain, September 2019]

Dorsal view of a first-year Great Cormorant drying its plumage (photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Tejo river, Trafaria, Almada, Portugal, February 2014]

Near-frontal to near-lateral view of juvenile Great Cormorants (photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Sesimbra, Setubal, Portugal, March 2018]

Lateral view of a juvenile Great Cormorant (photo courtesy of M. Thomas)
[Skagen, Jütland, Denmark, September 2019]

Dorsal view of a juvenile Great Cormorant; the greyish-brown front of the neck shows that this bird is still young
(photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Near Wadebridge, Cornwall, England, September 2019]

Additional information

More photos of Great Cormorants, race "sinensis", were taken by us in Oman.

Race "carboides"

Photos of Great Cormorants, race "carboides", were taken by us in Australia.

Behaviour

Small flock of Great Cormorants preparing to hunt fish collectively (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Lake Dlugie Wigierskie, Wigry NP, Masurias, Poland, August 2017]

Food, Diet

Great Cormorant with its catch, a fish (photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, November 2014]

Call(s)/Song

For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

grtcorm_20170701.m4a carboides
(NW NSW)
Arrival © MD
 
grtcorm_dw_20170815.m4a sinensis
(Poland)
? (flock) © DW
grtcorm_dw_20170815_1.m4a sinensis
(Poland)
? (flock) © DW

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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