Guanay Cormorant Phalacrocorax bougainvillii

  • Order: Suliformes
  • Family: Phalacrocoracidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Mark A. Baran and Michael G. Harvey


  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding
Distribution of the Guanay Cormorant
eBird range map for Guanay Cormorant

Generated from eBird observations (Year-Round, 1900-present)

Distribution in the Americas

Resident along the coasts of Peru and Chile, where the distribution is closely tied to the Humboldt Current. Breeds north to Isla Lobos de Tierra, off the coast of Piura. Small numbers disperse north along the coast of Peru as a nonbreeding visitor, but is irregular in Tumbes. "Highly irregular" visitor to Ecuador; not present at all in most years, but occasionally occurs in numbers, especially during years of El Niño events (Ridgely and Greenfield 2001). Vagrant to Colombia (Hilty and Brown 1986) and to Panama (Ridgely and Gwynne 1989). In Chile  breeds, very locally, south to (at least formerly) Isla Mocha.  Population along coast of Argentina established in late 1960s, but has since declined and likely disappeared (Bertelotti et al. 2003).

Distribution outside the Americas

Endemic to South America.


Breeds on offshore islands and remote headlands. Forages primarily 1-3 km from nest site, but may infrequently range up to 4-6 km in search of fish.

Historical changes

A small population of Guanay Cormorants along the coast of Argentina was established in the late 1960s, but has declined greatly, likely going extinct. In 1999, 4 individuals were found, all mated with Imperial Cormorants (Phalacrocorax atriceps) (Bertellotti et al. 2003).

Fossil history

No known records.

Recommended Citation

Baran, M. A. and M. G. Harvey (2011). Guanay Cormorant (Phalacrocorax bougainvillii), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.