Phalacrocorax sulcirostris

General description: 

Black Cormorant is a small, slim, totally black cormorant with a greenish sheen to the back and a slender grey hooked bill. In the breeding season, adults have fine white flecks on the head and neck and the green tinge becomes more bronze. Non-breading adult could be duller, lack philoplumages and white nuptial feathering. This species congregates in larger flocks than other cormorants and flies in V-shaped formations.

Conservation status: 

Not Threatened.

Diagnostic description: 

Black Cormorant is a small, slim, totally black cormorant with a greenish sheen to the back and a slender grey hooked bill. In the breeding season, adults have fine white flecks on the head and neck and the green tinge becomes more bronze. Non-breading adult could be duller, lack philoplumages and white nuptial feathering. This species congregates in larger flocks than other cormorants and flies in V-shaped formations.

Behaviour: 

Size: 

55-65 cm, 520-1210 g, wingspan 95-105 cm.

Phylogeny: 

Taxonomy:

    Carbo sulcirostris Brandt, 1837, New South Wales. Sometimes placed in genus Hypoleucos. Division into two or three subspecies appears to be unjustified. Monotypic. (source: Handbook of the Birds of World)
Distribution: 

Distribution:

    Indonesia E to New Guinea, Australia, Tasmania and N New Zealand.
Habitat: 

It is mainly found in freshwater wetlands, but will sometimes be found on sheltered coastal waters, and can use relatively small, deep water bodies. It is strongly aquatic, seldom being seen on dry land, but is often seen resting on rocks, jetties and other perches in water.

Trophic strategy: 

Feeds on fish, crustaceans and aquatic insects. It catches prey underwater, by diving and swimming using its large, fully webbed feet for propulsion. It has special nictitating membranes that cover and protect the eyes underwater. As their feathers are not waterproof, cormorants are regularly seen perched with their wings outstretched to dry after fishing.

Reproduction: 

All year round, depending on water conditions and food availability. Apr-Aug in N Australia. Normally forms small colonies.