Cormorants, shags


Taxonomy Version: IOC 10.2
Taxonomy Ranking
Level Rank Scientific Name
Cormorants and shags (there is no consistent distinction between the two) are medium to large fish-eating birds, mostly with dark plumages, and all with webbed feet. They have long, thin, hooked bills which they use to catch fish while diving underwater from the surface. Many species have bare-skinned faces, sometimes brightly coloured. The waterproofing of their feathers is imperfect and they habitually hang their wings to dry. They nest colonially on cliffs or in trees, usually in coastal habitats, though they are also found on inland waterbodies. The family has a cosmopolitan distribution.
  • Flightless Cormorant - Galápagos © David Briers

  • Flightless Cormorant - Galápagos © Andrew Moon

  • Flightless Cormorant - Galápagos © Andrew Moon

  • Neotropic Cormorant © Claudio Laquidara

  • Flightless Cormorant - Galápagos © Ian Fulton

  • Guanay Cormorant - Peru © Tim Dean

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