Great Cormorant, Aalscholver, Kormoran, Corvo-marinho-de-faces-brancas, Cormorán Grande
Spotted in the Alentejo region of Portugal. Great Cormorant sound
The Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo), known as the Great Black Cormorant across the Northern Hemisphere, the Black Cormorant in Australia and the Black Shag further south in New Zealand, is a widespread member of the cormorant family of seabirds. It breeds in much of the Old World and the Atlantic coast of North America.
The Great Cormorant is a large black bird, but there is a wide variation in size in the species wide range. Weight is reported from 1.5 kg (3.3 lbs) to 5.3 kg (11.7 lbs), with a typical range from 2.6 to 3.7 kg (5.7-8.2 lbs).. Length can vary from 70 to 102 cm (28–40 in) and wingspan from 121 to 160 cm (48–63 in). It has a longish tail and yellow throat-patch. Adults have white thigh patches in the breeding season. In European waters it can be distinguished from the Common Shag by its larger size, heavier build, thicker bill, lack of a crest and plumage without any green tinge.
This is a very common and widespread bird species. It feeds on the sea, in estuaries, and on freshwater lakes and rivers. Northern birds migrate south and winter along any coast that is well-supplied with fish.
The type subspecies, P. c. carbo, is found mainly in Atlantic waters and nearby inland areas: on western European coasts and south to North Africa, the Faroe Islands, Iceland and Greenland; and on the eastern seaboard of North America, though in America it breeds only in the north of its range, in the Canadian maritime provinces.
The subspecies found in Australasian waters, P. carbo novaehollandiae, has a crest. In New Zealand it is known as the Black Shag or by its M?ori name; Kawau
The Great Cormorant breeds mainly on coasts, nesting on cliffs or in trees (which are eventually killed by the droppings), but also increasingly inland. 3-4 eggs are laid in a nest of seaweed or twigs.
The Great Cormorant can dive to considerable depths, but often feeds in shallow water. It frequently brings prey to the surface. A wide variety of fish are taken: cormorants are often noticed eating eels, but this may reflect the considerable time taken to subdue an eel and position it for swallowing, rather than any dominance of eels in the diet. In British waters, dive times of 20–30 seconds are common, with a recovery time on the surface around a third of the dive time.
The Great Cormorant is one of the few birds which can move its eyes, which assists in hunting.
Azerbaijani: Böyük qarabatdaq, Qarabatdaq
Breton: Ar vorvran bras, Morvaout, Morvran
Catalan: Corb marí gros, Corba marina grossa
Catalan (Balears): Corb marí gros
Valencian: Corba marina grossa
Czech: Kormorán velký
Welsh: Bilidowcar, Llanciau Llandudno, Morfran, Mulfran, Wil wal waliog
German: Kormoran, Kormoran-carbo
English: Common Cormorant, Cormorant, Great cormorant, North Atlantic Great Cormorant
Esperanto: Granda kormorano
Spanish: Cormoran Grande, Cormorán grande
Estonian: karbas, Kormoran, kormoran (karbas)
Basque: Corb marí gros, Ubarroi handi
French: Grand Cormoran
Irish: Amplóir, Broigheall
Galician: Corb marí gros, Corvo mariño grande
Manx: Arragh Vooar, Fannag Varrey, Feeagh Varrey, Scarroo, Shag
Croatian: Veliki Vranac
Indonesian: Pecukpadi Besar
Italian: Cormorano, Marangone
Japanese: kawau, Kawa-u
Latin: Phalacrocorax carbo, Phalacrocorax carbo carbo
Lithuanian: Didysis kormoranas
Malay: Dendang Air
Norwegian: Kvitlåring, Storskarv
Polish: kormoran, kormoran (zwyczajny), Kormoran czarny, Kormoran zwyczajny
Portuguese: corvo marinho faces brancas, Corvo-marinho-de-faces-brancas, Corvo-marinho-faces-brancas
Romansh: cormoran, Cormoran grond
Northern Sami: Skárfa
Slovenian: veliki kormoran
Albanian: Karabullaku i detit
Travel Birdwatching Holiday Alentejo, Vacation Portugal for birders to see birds on your trip