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.
Differs from Pelagic in having a thicker pale bill.
|wingspan min.:||110||cm||wingspan max.:||120||cm|
|size min.:||71||cm||size max.:||79||cm|
|incubation min.:||31||days||incubation max.:||38||days|
|fledging min.:||40||days||fledging max.:||50||days|
t white patches on flanks are rapidly covered and exposed, appearing to flash on and off.
Nest: Site is on ledge (wide or narrow) of cliff or steep slope above water. Nest is mound of grass, seaweed, moss, debris, with deep hollow in center, sometimes lined with feathers. Nest may be reused in subsequent years.
Clutch 3-4. Bluish white, becoming nest-stained. Incubation is by both sexes, probably about 31-34 days.
Young: Probably fed by both parents. Age at which young leave nest estimated at 50-60 days. 1 brood per year.
Behavior: Forages by diving from surface and swimming underwater, propelled by feet. Solitary in foraging; may feed near bottom in rocky areas. Eyes adapted for vision in water as well as in air.
bMigration: Mostly permanent resident. Very rare straggler away from nesting areas (though may winter away from breeding sites in Kuril Islands, north of Japan).