General Description

Little Pied Cormorants are black above and white below. They have a small crest of black feathers in front of the bill. The bill is yellow with a slightly hooked tip. The feet are webbed and the tail is long and wedge-shaped. Little Pied Cormorants are the smallest of the five species of cormorant found in Australia. The bill to tail length is up to 55 cm.


Little Pied Cormorants hunt by making short, shallow dives from the surface of the water. They feed on a wide variety of aquatic animals, from insects to fish. Claws are shaken off freshwater crayfishes before they are swallowed. After diving, cormorants often perch with their wings out to the side to help their feathers dry. These cormorants breed in colonies, commonly with other waterbirds including other cormorant species, spoonbills, herons and ibises. Each nest is a platform structure about 30 cm across, usually in the fork of a tree, on bushes or on an artificial structure such as a disused jetty.


New Zealand and Pacific Islands. Mainland Australia and Tasmania.


Wetlands, including swamps and coastal bays.

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