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Imperial Cormorant Phalacrocorax atriceps

  • Order: Suliformes
  • Family: Phalacrocoracidae
  • Polytypic: 2 subspecies
  • Authors: Agustina Gómez Laich

Diet and Foraging


The Imperial Cormorant feeds primarily on fish but it also consumes crustaceans, cephalopods and polychaetes. Along the Patagonian coasts the principal fish species consumed are the Argentine hake (Merluccius hubbsi), the Argentinean anchovy (Engraulis anchoita), nototenids (Patagonothoten sp.), ciclid fish (Ribeiroclinus eigenmanni) and the Banded cusk eel (Raneya brasiliensis). They forage during the daylight hours, solitary or socially, but probably solitary foraging is the most typical method. The cormorants can dive to depths of up to 60 m, with a mean maximum of 30 m, in search of food.

Foraging Behavior

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Recommended Citation

Gómez Laich, A. (2012). Imperial Cormorant (Phalacrocorax atriceps), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.