Brandts Cormorant

(Phalacrocorax penicillatus)
brants cormorant
Brandt's Cormorants on a rock offshore from Baker Beach.

Will Elder, NPS


Natural History: This bird sustains itself by feeding on small saltwater fishes caught while diving. Cormorants often congregate in flocks to herd fish. They communally roost on rocky headlands and do not linger in the water due to the fact that they lack oil glands to keep their feathers dry, in contrast to most other waterbirds. This species is active year round and is a colonial nester. Breeding season is from March to August.

General Distribution: In the Presidio, this species can be found near ocean areas, bays, and tidal rocky areas.

Frequency: This bird is common throughout the year at the Presidio.

Identifying Characteristics: This species has the tendency to be an upright percher with a S-shaped neck and hook-tipped bill. It displays a a dark throat pouch behind which lies a brown band across its throat. It's underparts are generally browner in color than the double-crested cormorant. Cormorants bodies are mostly underwater while swimming.

Presidio Birds main page

Last updated: February 28, 2015

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