Notice for readers: On March 31, Neotropical Birds will be integrated into the new Birds of the World, a powerful research database offering species accounts for every species on earth. Learn more at While Birds of the World is a subscription service, we remain committed to offering this content to Neotropical Birds contributors and to those unable to pay for it through our scholarship program. Stay tuned.

Brandt's Cormorant Phalacrocorax penicillatus


We do not have a complete account for this species.

The summary below is an overview from The Birds of North America Online.

BNA Account Authors: Wallace, Elizabeth A., and George E. Wallace

Brandt's Cormorant is endemic to North America, where it occurs only in marine and estuarine environments. It breeds along the West Coast of North America, reaching Alaska in the north and Mexico in the south. In the main part of its range, from California to Washington, its life history and populations are tied to the rich upwelling associated with the California Current. In the nonbreeding season, when the effects of this current diminish, populations redistribute along the coast in concert with changing water and feeding conditions.

This species nests in colonies on the ground on rocky islets, choosing flat or sloping areas or cliffs with ledges. Nests are large and untidy, made of terrestrial plants or seaweed collected from the land or sea, or stolen from other nests. Courtship behaviors are typical of the genus Phalacrocorax, and emphasize the species' distinctive cobalt blue gular pouch.

View the full account on The Birds of North America Online

In-depth, comprehensive species information and multimedia (subscription required).

Help author an account about this species from a Neotropical perspective.

Help complete this species

There are many ways to contribute—we need species information, photographs, audio, video, translations, maps, distribution data, and bird sightings. There's a role for everyone!

Learn more

© Gregory Budney

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Brandt's Cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicillatus), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: