Neotropic Cormorant

Phalacrocorax brasilianus




Cormorants (Phalacrocoracidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Pale blue, nest stained

Number of Eggs:

2 - 6

Incubation Days:

23 - 26

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

0 - 20 feet above ground.

Nest Material:

Sticks, twigs, leaves, grass


Most do not migrate



Neotropic Cormorant: Small, long-tailed cormorant. Black upper and lowerparts may show blue gloss. Yellow-gray bill with yellow "v" shaped gular pouch edged in white. Breeding adult shows short white plumes on sides of neck. Juvenile is more brown.

Range and Habitat

Neotropic Cormorant: Fairly common in U.S. range. Found primarily in Louisiana, Texas, and along the Rio Grande valley into New Mexico, but may also occur in California, Arizona, and Oklahoma. Also found throughout much of Mexico and Cuba. Inhabits saltwater bays and inlets, and freshwater lakes and ponds.

Breeding and Nesting

Neotropic Cormorant: Monogamous and colonial. Male chooses nest site and brings materials to female who builds nest in the fork of a tree, rarely on ground. Nest is made of sticks, twigs, grasses, and leaves. Both sexes incubate two to six pale blue eggs for 23 to 26 days and tend young who become independent around 11 weeks.

Foraging and Feeding

Neotropic Cormorant: Feeds on variety of fish, frogs, tadpoles and other aquatic organisms. Dives in pursuit of prey from water's surface. The only cormorant known to occasionally plunge dive from above water's surface. Cooperative feeding has also been documented.


Neotropic Cormorant: Usually silent away from breeding grounds. Low croaks and hippo-like grunts "r'rauh", "ruuh-aah."

Similar Species

Neotropic Cormorant: Double-crested Cormorant is larger and heavier looking, has a shorter tail, a yellow-orange throat pouch, and a green sheen on head, neck, and underparts. Brandt's Cormorant is seen on the West Coast, has a shorter tail, and a blue throat pouch during breeding season.

The area between the chin and the foreneck.
Large, conspicuous, showy feathers.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X