A large pied (black and white) cormorant with a naked black face, the Black-faced Cormorant (Phalacrocorax fuscescens) is found along much of Australia’s southern coastline, occurring on rocky island. The upper parts are black, whilst the underparts are white, with a black mark on each thigh. It has blue-green eyes, dark grey bill and black legs and feet.

It breeds on rocky islands in marine environment, building nests made from seaweed and driftwood. They forage for fish by diving to depths of up to 12 metres. They are often seen roosting along side other birds, especially gulls and other species of cormorants.

Common name
Black-faced Cormorant, Black-faced Shag.

Images © Dorothy L

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Suliformes
  • Family: Phalacrocoracidae
  • Genus: Phalacrocorax
  • Species: P. fuscescens
  • Binomial name: Phalacrocorax fuscescens

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