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Common name Great cormorant
Scientific name Phalacrocorax carbo
Type Seabirds
Status Wintering

Large bird (about 100 cm or 3.5 ft) and with some resemblance to pelicans. Black plumage with white throat. Juveniles have a clear belly. Plumage with a design that looks like scales. Large, greyish bill with a yellowish base. Black and webbed legs. The eye iris is emerald green colour. It swims with an elevated waterline (only 25% of the animal is seen on the water) and spends a lot of time alighted with open wings to get dry on shores, trees and perches.



Where it lives

Wetlands, sweet or brackish, with open waters, inland or coastal, that harbour good fish populations. Marshes, reservoirs, rivers and artificial lagoons.

How it lives

Wintering species in the province. Little by little, specimens have settled and nowadays some can be observed all year round, but still as a scant and occasional breeder. It nests in colonies, choosing trees, cliffs or reedbeds as sites. One laying of 3 to 4 eggs. This bird is a great fisherman which bases its diet on fish it catches while diving. Gregarious, especially in roosts and fishing areas.

Where it can be seen in Malaga

The Great Cormorant can be observed throughout the Coastal Path as there is a frequent movement of individuals along the coast. It is present in the mouth of the Guadalhorce, in the weirs and reservoirs of coastal rivers, as well as in the mouths of the ports. This bird has also become accustomed to using the artificial lagoons of golf courses near the coast.

Curious facts

In Malaga cormorants are known as "gallocuervos" (“roostercrows”) since its Latin name refers to their resemblance to crows, which is why they are also known as marine crows. They are able to capture and gobble large fish, up to their own weight in fish every day.

Wintering Summer Resident Migration