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Suliformes > Phalacrocoracidae

Great Cormorant

Phalacrocorax carbo

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Identification

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Large cormorant found nearly worldwide. Surprisingly restricted in the U.S. to the coastal Northeast; rarely seen inland. Breeds in colonies on rocky islands in Maine and Atlantic Canada. More of a habitat generalist on other continents. Distinguished from Double-crested Cormorant by larger size and white patch on throat, and from European Shag by larger size and lack of crest in adult. Breeding adults show circular white patch on flanks. Immatures typically have contrasting white belly, whereas Double-crested is palest brown on the breast. Often spotted standing on rocks or pilings. Dives frequently, feeding on fish.

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Learn more about Great Cormorant from…

All About Birds

Your Online Guide To Birds And Bird Watching

Birds of North America

Comprehensive life histories of North American breeding birds