Great Cormorant

Phalacrocorax carbo

Order

SULIFORMES

Family

Cormorants (Phalacrocoracidae)

Code 4

GRCO

Code 6

PHACAR

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Great Cormorant is a very common and widespread seabird. It is found in Atlantic waters and nearby land areas, including coastlines of western Europe, Africa, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland and eastern coasts of North America. This species breeds mainly on these above named coastal areas. Nests are built on cliffs or in high trees, and occasionally in inland areas. This bird can move its eyes, and feeds on eels and other varieties of fish. The Great Cormorant was once hunted to near extinction, but populations are currently increasing. The current conservation rating for the great Cormorant is Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Great Cormorant: Largest North American comorant. Black with bright yellow throat pouch bordered with white feathers. Expert swimmer, dives for fish, crustaceans. When wet holds wings in spread eagle position to dry. Strong direct flight with steady wing beats. Flies in V or straight line formation.

 

Range and Habitat

Great Cormorant: Found along the Atlantic Coast of North America. Breeds in the northern part of its range from Newfoundland and Labrador, though the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and south to New England. Winters along the coast from New England south to northern Florida. Prefers rocky coasts with sheltered inshore waters.

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Great Cormorant SONGS AND CALLS

Great Cormorant L1

Low "karrk" calls of birds coming in to roost.

Great Cormorant L2

"Ah-rrhoo" calls and squawks.

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"curr-curr-curr", "gur-gur-gur"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • Great Cormorants are excellent swimmers and pursue prey underwater using its feet rather than its wings.
  • These birds are very sociable and colonies of up to 20,000 birds have been reported.
  • This is one of two species trained by human fisherman in Japan to help them fish. It has been known to swallow small pebbles allowing it to dive more easily.
  • A group of cormorants has many collective nouns, including a "flight", "gulp", "rookery", "sunning", and "swim" of cormorants.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Jane Wright

Artist

Samira Belous

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

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BIRDS AND BIRDING

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PelagicX
The pelagic is a type of bird whose habitat is on the open ocean rather than in a coastal region or on inland bodies of water (lakes, rivers). An example of a pelagic bird is the blacklegged kittiwake.
PlumesX
Large, conspicuous, showy feathers.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X