The cosmopolitan genus Phalacrocorax of the Suliformes family includes thirty-five species frequenting coasts and islands. The face and throat are naked; the bill is long, and the upper mandible much curved at the point, while the lower supports a dilatable membrane which forms a gular pouch. The legs are short, strong, and abdominal, with three toes in front and one behind, all united; the claw of the middle toe is pectinated and probably used to dress the plumage and to free the bird from insect pests. The wings are of moderate length, and the tail-feathers stiff and rigid. Many of the species develop crests or wattles in the breeding season. These birds feed exclusively on fish. All Cormorants, Shags and Darters have a small bone at the back of the skull, the occipital style. This bone is flexibly attached to the skull and is supposed to have a function for the grasping ability of these birds. The ramphotecal coating of the bills of the cormorants are divided in plates, very much like those of the tubenoses, without visible nostrils.
on each flank. Throat patch and part of face dull red (obvious only at close range). Deep brown all over, darkest on back. Note the thin bill.
Listen to the sound of Pelagic Cormorant
Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto
|wingspan min.:||100||cm||wingspan max.:||120||cm|
|size min.:||55||cm||size max.:||70||cm|
|incubation min.:||27||days||incubation max.:||35||days|
|fledging min.:||28||days||fledging max.:||35||days|
Site is on cliffs with near-vertical slopes, narrow ledges. Parents not effective at defending eggs or young, rely on inaccessible location for protection. Nest is of seaweed, grass, moss, sometimes sticks. Both sexes help build nest; may use same nest e
ach year, adding to it annually.
Clutch 3-5, sometimes 1-7. Bluish white, becoming nest-stained. Incubation is by both sexes, 26-37 days, typically about 30. Young:
Probably both parents feed nestlings. Young may be capable of short flights at 35-40 days, leave nest at about 45-55 days (much variation). Parents may tend and feed young for a few weeks after they leave nest. 1 brood per year.
Forages by diving from surface and swimming underwater, propelled mainly by feet, though may sometimes use wings as well. Forages singly, although may be attracted to concentrations of other feeding birds. Known to dive to at least 120′ below surface; ta
kes much of food from near bottom in rocky areas. Eyes adapted for vision in water as well as in air.