Brandt's Cormorant

Phalacrocorax penicillatus




Cormorants (Phalacrocoracidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Blue white

Number of Eggs:

3 - 6

Incubation Days:

28 - 31

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

On rocky ground.

Nest Material:

Made of moss, grasses, and seaweed.





Brandt's Cormorant: Medium-sized, crestless cormorant with dull black body. Face and back have slender white plumes. Throat pouch is bright blue bordered with yellow. Winter adult lacks blue throat pouch. Juvenile is dark brown above, paler below.

Range and Habitat

Brandt's Cormorant: Resident along Pacific coast from British Columbia south to Baja California. Breeding colonies located on gentle slopes on windward side of islands, or steep cliffs with ledges. Found in inshore coastal waters, especially areas with kelp beds; also large bays and occasionally estuaries or coastal lagoons.

Breeding and Nesting

Brandt's Cormorant: Three to six blue white eggs are laid in a large nest made of seaweed or other debris; usually nests in colonies on cliffs and rocky islands. Incubation ranges from 28 to 31 days and is carried out by both parents.

Foraging and Feeding

Brandt's Cormorant: Eats fish; forages underwater, swimming with wings and feet to chase down prey and capture it with hooked bill.


Brandt's Cormorant: Emits a variety of croaks and grunts only on the nest.

Similar Species

Brandt's Cormorant: Loons lack hooked bills. Double-crested Cormorant has orange on throat. Pelagic Cormorant has red on throat and is noticeably smaller and slimmer.

The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
Large, conspicuous, showy feathers.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X