776. Phalacrocorax carbo

Phalacrocorax carbo (Linn.), Syst. Nat. i. p. 216 (1766) ; (Naum.), xi. p. 52, Taf. 279 ; Hewitson, ii. p. 471, pl. cxxx. fig. 2 ; Gould, B. of E. v. pl. 407 , id. B. of Gt. Brit. v. pl. 52 ; Dresser, vi. p. 151, pl. 388 ; David and Oust. Ois. Chine, p. 532 ; Audubon, B. Amer. vii. p. 123, pl. 415 ; Bidgway, p. 78 ; Grant, Cat. B. Br. Mus. xxvi. p. 340 ; Tacz. F. O. Sib. O. p. 1072 ; Blanf. F. Brit. Ind. Birds, iv. p. 340 ; Saunders, p. 361 ; Lilford, vii. p. 1, pl. i. ; P. sinensis (Shaw and Nodder), Nat. Misc. xiii. pl. 529 (1801) ; P. cormoranus (Meyer and Wolf), Taschenb, ii. p. 576 (1810) ; (Naum.), xi. p. 52, Taf. 279 ; P. carboides, Gould, P.Z.S. 1837, p. 156 ; id. B. of. Austral, vii. pl. 66.
Grand Cormoran, French ; Corvo marinho, Portug. ; Cuervo marino, Span. ; Cormorano, Ital. ; Kormoran-Scharbe, German ; Aalscholver, Dutch ; Skarv, Aalekraake, Dan. and Norweg. ; Storskarf, Swed ; Skarffa, Lapp. ; Kalakorppa, Haikara, Finn. ; Obiknovennui-Baklan, Russ. ; Agag, Arab. ; Gharrad, Moor. ; Ghogur, Pan-kowa, Hindu. ; U, Jap.
Male ad. (Scotland). Chin and sides of the head skirting the bare part at the base of the bill white ; head, neck, and under parts glossy purplish black ; nuchal feathers elongated ; a few hair-like feathers on the neck white ; upper parts bronze-green margined with blackish ; the lower back and rump purplish black ; quills and tail greyish black ; a pure white patch on each thigh ; bill yellowish white at the base, otherwise dusky brown ; gular sac yellow ; bare space round the eye greenish brown ; iris grass-green ; legs and feet black. Culmen 3.6, gape 4.1, wing 13.5, tail 7.0, tarsus 2.7 inch. Female similar but smaller, duller in colour with a smaller crest. In the winter the colours are duller and greener and the head and neck are covered with slender white filamentous plumelets. The young birds are dark brown above, dull white marked with brown below ; bill dark brown above, pale brown below ; iris brown.
Hab. Europe generally ; Greenland ; Iceland ; Africa south to the Cape Colony ; Asia north to Kamchatka, east to Japan, south to the Malay Peninsula ; Australia ; New Zealand and Chatham Islands.
Frequents both inland waters and the sea-coasts, but with us at least is most frequently to be met with on salt water. Its flight is direct and swift, though it appears somewhat clumsy in rising from the water, and strikes the water with its feet for some distance before it is fairly on the wing. It swims however with ease and dives even better, and trusts chiefly to its dexterity and speed under water to obtaining its food, for it feeds entirely on fish and is extremely voracious. On land it walks heavily and clumsily. Though naturally shy and wary it is easily tamed, and in China especially is trained to capture fish for its master.
It breeds on cliffs, rocks, or trees, usually in colonies, and when placed on a tree the nest is constructed of sticks lined with grass or weeds, or if on a rock, of a few sticks and sea¬weed. The eggs, usually 4 in number, are laid late in April or in May, and are elongate in shape, bluish white in colour closely incrusted with a layer of chalky substance, and in size average 2.30 by 1.51.

A Manual Of Palaearctic Birds
Dresser, Henry Eeles. A Manual of Palaearctic Birds. Vol. 2. 1903.
Title in Book: 
776. Phalacrocorax carbo
Book Author: 
H. E. Dresser
Page No: 
Common name: 
Great Cormorant
Phalacrocorax carbo
Vol. 2

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