- 65-80 cm (B2);
68-80 cm (B1).
- Adult: Eye bright green, Bill
black, with yellow at base of mandible,
legs black. Upperparts and underparts green-glossed
black, head has forward-curving crest on top. Mantle,
and upper wing coverts
edged in velvet-black, centres purple-tinged. Neck: tiny white filoplumes
between feathers in fresh plumage.
- Juvenile: Eye: yellow-white, Bill:
pale pink-brown, legs: black with yellow-brown webs. Upperparts faintly
green-glossed dark brown, sides of head and underparts paler, chin,
centre of throat, breast and abdomen variable areas brownish-white
- Nestling: Eye: light brown, skin:
brown, Down: brown
|Range and Habitat
- Phalacrocorax aristotelis aristotelis Northern
and western Europe, from Iceland and northern Scandinavia south to Iberian Peninsula
- Phalacrocorax aristotelis desmarestii Central
Mediterranean eastwards to Black Sea
- Phalacrocorax aristotelis riggenbachi
north-west Africa - coast of Morocco
In the London Area, "irregular
visitor, occasionally in good numbers. Usually occurs in winter, but may
stay for long periods." Peak sightings are usually in
mid-December. In 2000, individuals seen on several reservoirs, also on the
Thames at Wandsworth Park, and in Inner London,
in Regent's Park. (J322.65.w1)
Accidental: Belgium, Netherlands, Finland, Switzerland,
Rumania, Israel, Iraq, Egypt, Malta, Germany.
to dispersive. Post breeding dispersal sometimes long distances. Some populations
Habitat: Coastal marine - rocky coastlines and islets,
uses sheltered bays, rarely estuaries, exceptionally inland.
(B1.w3, B2, B19)
- Food: fish, also crustaceans.
- Feeding: By pursuit-diving; mainly fish in midwater,
also take bottom-dwelling fish.
- Breeding: On seacliffs, rocks and stacks, also on ground
in shelter of boulders/bushes, and islets. Nest of seaweed, lined with grass, built by
both parents; sites often re-used. 1-6 eggs (average three), 30-31 days incubation by both
parents (starts after second egg laid), hatching asynchronous,
cared for and fed (partial regurgitation direct from bill) by both parents, fledge about
53 days, parental care continued further 15-20 days, sometimes 50 days or more; first
breed at three, more commonly four years old. Replacement clutch laid if eggs lost.
- Breeding behaviour: Usually seasonally monogamous;
pair bond regularly maintained in successive seasons, particularly if breeding successful.
Simultaneous "bigamy" (polygamy)
in 3-5% where shortage of good nesting sites.
- Social behaviour: Less gregarious than Phalacrocorax
carbo - Cormorant. Usually solitary in winter, although large numbers
may be fishing independently in dense shoals of fish.
Organisations (UK Contacts):
Electronic Library (further reading):