Alternative names: Neotropical Cormorant; Olivaceous Cormorant
- Phalacrocorax brasilianus
58–73 cm (22¾-28¾ in)
W. 100 cm
Weight 1-1.5 kg
- Dark brown to blackish
- Yellow-brown throat patch (gular pouch) which at the rear ends in a sharp point
- Brownish feathering in the lores and supraloral area
- White tufts on the sides of the head
- Throat patch develops a white edge
Compare especially to Double-crested Cormorant which differ in being larger and stockier, having shorter tail, rounded gular pouch, and yellow bare skin in the loral and supraloral area. Juvenile Double-crested Cormorant is paler on the breast and sometimes even head and neck when compared to same age Neotropic.
North America: Mexico, Arizona, southern Texas, and locally in New Mexico. Accidental vagrant to California, Colorado, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Illinois, Alabama and most remarkably Ontario1. The regular occurrence in Arizona is the result of a recent range expansion.
In the Caribbean found in Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, and Cuba.
Central America and South America: found throughout, including Tiera del Fuego at the southern tip of South America. The name, which hints that this is a tropical species therefore is wrong.
Some field guides2 still use Phalacrocorax olivaceus for this species.
Two subspecies are recognized:
- P. b. mexicanus:
- P. b. brasilianus:
Sea shores, lakes, and marshes. It can be found in salt water, brackish water, as well as fresh water habitats.
Dives from the surface, swimming well under water to chase prey. Often perches on logs, pilings, tree limbs, or even wires, sometimes spreading its wings in the sun to dry. Usually flies low over the surface of open water with strong, rapid wing beats.
Their diet consists of small fish, tadpoles, frogs, crustaceans and aquatic insects.
Their nest is a platform of sticks with a depression in the centre circled with twigs and grass. The clutch contains up to 5 chalky bluish-white eggs which are incubated by both adults for about 25–30 days.
- Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
- 2005 Ontario Bird Records Committee Report (http://www.ofo.ca/obrc/includes/2005OBRCReport.pdf)
- Ridgely & Gwynne: A guide to the birds of Panama ISBN 0691025126
- RADAMAKER and CORMAN STATUS OF NEOTROPIC CORMORANT IN ARIZONA WITH NOTES ON IDENTIFICATION AND AGEING
- elfair II, R. C. and M. L. Morrison (2020). Neotropic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax brasilianus), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (P. G. Rodewald and B. K. Keeney, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.neocor.02
- BirdForum Opus contributors. (2021) Neotropic Cormorant. In: BirdForum, the forum for wild birds and birding. Retrieved 2 August 2021 from https://www.birdforum.net/wiki/Neotropic_Cormorant