Crested cormorant: photo, description, lifestyle

Crested cormorant: photo, description, lifestyle
Crested cormorant: photo, description, lifestyle

The crested cormorant, or Phalacrocorax aristotelis (lat.), is the smallest of all species under consideration. These are amazing birds with special distinctive habits. They are individual in their way of catching fish, as well as in taking various positions during the mating season. But there are also similar signs that define all cormorants. For example, nesting, place of residence and others.


Excellent helps to get acquainted with how the crested cormorant looks like, photo. You can see them in our article. The bird is the smallest among all cormorants. The length of her body does not exceed 80 cm, and the wingspan is one meter. In weight, birds never gain more than 2 kilograms, and even during the period of abundant and affordable food.

crested cormorant

Black cormorants have a matching shade of plumage with a greenish tint. During the mating season, as well as throughout the nesting period, the appearance of the bird changes - a small crest of feathers appears on its head, which rise up.

Cormorants have a long beak. At first it is pink, and towards the endturns yellow. The skin around the eyes is emerald, but near the base of the beak it is yellow.

The abdomen is dark, but only in adults. Young males and females are lighter. In addition, chicks may have different shades on the main plumage, which is never observed in adult cormorants.


Globally, the crested cormorant lives wherever there is a sea coast. Unlike other similar and related species, it will not be able to live near fresh water bodies. It is distributed along the entire Atlantic coast, up to the Iberian Peninsula. It can also be found in southwest Africa.

crested cormorant photo

On the territory of the Russian Federation, cormorants are found on the Kola Peninsula, as well as in the north and east of the Black Sea. Near this reservoir on the Parus rock, there is a critical habitat for the species. In general, the bird can be found throughout the southern part of Russia.

The crested cormorant can also be seen in the Crimea. On some coasts, they are fine with close proximity to humans, and it is possible to see them in person, and quite close.


Speaking of what cormorants eat, it is first necessary to consider the method of catching food. It is diving. Therefore, if the reservoir is heavily polluted, then the cormorant simply cannot get food for itself.

The bird feeds mainly on fish. Usually it is a gerbil, smarida, wrasse and the like. Very rarely, when a cormorant is hungry, it can afford to eat a small crustacean animal. Buthe will not be able to eat them on a permanent basis, as the digestive system will not cope.


During the mating season, the crested cormorant becomes very beautiful, photos can confirm this. Bird nests are located in rocky crevices or ledges with a canopy. They create them from branches and dry algae. Their nests are quite massive, this is done so that the hatched babies feel comfortable.

black cormorants

The mating season begins in mid-spring, less often in March. In one clutch there can be up to 5 eggs of pale blue color. The hatching process lasts almost a month, after which chicks are born without plumage and with dark skin. They are also blind, they will be able to open their eyes only after 2 weeks.

Plumage in babies appears on the 20th day. First it's fluff. Then it gradually gives way to coarser feathers.

A month and a half later, the chicks are fully fledged and ready to leave the nest. Despite the fact that the laying of eggs can reach 5 pieces, fewer chicks remain, a maximum of three. They begin to fly fully in 3-4 months.

During the nesting period, adults will not fly far from the colony. Therefore, in order to feed themselves, they will need the presence of fish near the shore. This factor negatively affects the preservation of the species.


The crested cormorant is not a solitary bird. It usually settles in colonies. The ideal habitat is the rocky shore of the sea coast. But cormorants are notrefuse to establish colonies on small islands.

what do cormorants eat

The wintering of the bird takes place in the sea, in the immediate vicinity of the nests. Usually cormorants do not fly deep into the mainland, but sometimes they do. On land, they simply cannot feed themselves, so there is no point in moving far from the sea.

If a bird finds suitable conditions for living, then it will never start looking for another option. This means that cormorants lead a sedentary lifestyle. Their migration and nomadism can only be due to the fact that the reservoir is too polluted.

The crested cormorant is an endangered species in many countries. This is due not only to the fact that earlier the bird was caught in large quantities. The fact is that habitats change according to climatic and temperature regimes. Some do not have enough food, again due to human activities. Therefore, every effort must be made to preserve this species.

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