Little Pied Cormorant

Little Pied Cormorant

Other Names: Little Shag
Scientific Name: Microcarbo melanoleucos
Conservation Status: Least Concern
Body Length: 50–61 cm
Weight: 520–1200 g
Incubation: 27–28 days
Number of eggs: 2–5

Distribution: Throughout Australia
Habitat: Salt and fresh water estuaries, rivers, swamps and marine areas

Description: The cormorant’s body is black on top and white or rusty coloured below. In adults the white extends above the eye and the bill is yellow. 

Diet: The Little Pied Cormorant is a carnivore. It eats insects as well as many aquatic animals such as fish, shrimps and crustaceans. To catch them, the cormorant dives deep under the water.

Breeding: The cormorant creates a nest of flat sticks (usually in a tree) and then lines it with green leaves. It breeds mostly in well-vegetated wetlands within its colony. Male birds often call and then bow to a female from a nest. Both parents incubate the egg and look after the young.  

At Perth Zoo: Little Pied Cormorants can be seen in the Australian Wetlands.

Did You Know? The Little Pied Cormorant has a nasal salt gland that allows it to fish in seawater and flush out the salt they swallow.

Download the Little Pied Cormorant Fact Sheet (pdf).

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