The Red-legged Cormorant is almost restricted to the cold-water Humboldt Current region of Peru and Chile; the only other region where it occurs is on the Atlantic coast of southern Argentina. This attractive species is recognizable instantly by the brilliant colors of the bill and tarsi. It also is unusual for the color of the plumage: a muted gray, spotted with white, rather than the black, or stark black and white, of most other species of cormorants. Red-legged Cormorants forage in salt water, but tend to remain relatively close to shore. They also forage solitarily. The Red-legged Cormorant has a wide distribution, but is uncommon throughout its range, and has experienced significant population declines in recent years in Peru; its conservation status is rated as Near-Threatened.