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Red-legged Cormorant Phalacrocorax gaimardi

  • Order: Suliformes
  • Family: Phalacrocoracidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Esteban Frere and Ana Millones


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

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

Distribution in 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.

Distribution 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, E. and A. Millones (2012). Red-legged Cormorant (Phalacrocorax gaimardi), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.