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Phalacrocorax gaimardi

Red-legged Cormorant

  • Order: Suliformes
  • Family: Phalacrocoracidae
  • Monotypic

Authors: Frere, Esteban, and Ana Millones


The Americas

The Red-legged Cormorant is an endemic species to South America. This species is resident along the Pacific coast from northern Peru (Isla Foca, Piura) to southern Chile (Punta Elefante, Peninsula de Taitao), and along the Atlantic coast, where its range is restricted to Santa Cruz Province, Argentina.

Outside the Americas

Endemic to South America


Red-legged Cormorant is found in coastal waters with rocky cliffs. This species nests on rocky cliffs faces, located on continental shores or islands, building most of its nests on small ledges. Most sites used by Red-legged Cormorants are difficult for predators to reach (nests are located on steep cliffs with small outcrops), have a high availability of usable surface (cliffs with ledges, outcrops, or caves), and are protected from prevailing winds and the effect of sea waves (Millones et al. 2008).

When foraging, Red-legged Cormorants usually are found in inshore waters, and within 3 km of the breeding colony (Gandini et al. 2005, Frere et al. 2008), and of less than 10-15 m depth (Frere et. al 2002).

Historical changes

None reported.

Fossil history

None reported.

Recommended Citation

Frere, Esteban, and Ana Millones. 2012. Red-legged Cormorant (Phalacrocorax gaimardi), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online:

This map provided by Robert S. Ridgely.