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Great Cormorant

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

Size: 70-102 cm; wingspan: 1.2-1.6 m
Weight: 1.2-3.0 kg
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

Click here for information on habitat and range


Click here for sighting information


Race "sinensis"



Sex unknown

Lateral view of adult Great Cormorants in non-breeding plumage
[Qurm Natural Park, Qurm, December 2009]

Small colony of Great Cormorants; the white-breasted and mottled birds are juveniles, adults are all-black
[Qurm Natural Park, Qurm, December 2009]

Adult Great Cormorant in non-breeding plumage at takeoff
[Qurm Natural Park, Qurm, December 2009]

Two Great Cormorants in non-breeding plumage trying to gain altitude
[Qurm Natural Park, Qurm, December 2009]


In the foreground juvenile Great Cormorants; note the grey front
[Qurm Natural Park, Qurm, December 2009]

Juvenile Great Cormorant in low flight
[Qurm Natural Park, Qurm, December 2009]

Race "carboides"

Photos of race "carboides" were obtained by us in Australia.

Food, Diet

Like almost all other members of the Phalacrocorax family, Great Cormorants feed on fish.


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.

We will try to replace this poor recording with a better one as soon as possible.

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

More Great Cormorant sound recordings are available at .

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.

Would you like to contribute photos or sound recordings to this site?
If interested, please CLICK HERE. Credits to contributors are given HERE.