Phalacrocoracidae – Cormorants, shags

Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) by Daves BirdingPix

Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) by Daves BirdingPix

And flocks shall lie down in the midst of her, all the beasts of the nations: both the cormorant and the bittern shall lodge in the upper lintels of it; their voice shall sing in the windows; desolation shall be in the thresholds: for he shall uncover the cedar work. (Zephaniah 2:14 KJV)

CLASS – AVES, Order – SULIIFORMES, Family – Phalacrocoracidae – Cormorants, shags

Latest I.O.C. Version
Species (42)

Little Pied Cormorant (Microcarbo melanoleucos)
Reed Cormorant (Microcarbo africanus)
Crowned Cormorant (Microcarbo coronatus)
Little Cormorant (Microcarbo niger)
Pygmy Cormorant (Microcarbo pygmaeus)
Red-legged Cormorant (Phalacrocorax gaimardi)
Flightless Cormorant (Phalacrocorax harrisi)
Bank Cormorant (Phalacrocorax neglectus)
Spotted Shag (Phalacrocorax punctatus)
Pitt Shag (Phalacrocorax featherstoni)
Pallas’s Cormorant (Phalacrocorax perspicillatus)
Brandt’s Cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicillatus)
Pelagic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pelagicus)
Red-faced Cormorant (Phalacrocorax urile)
Neotropic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax brasilianus)
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)
European Shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis)
Black-faced Cormorant (Phalacrocorax fuscescens)
Indian Cormorant (Phalacrocorax fuscicollis)
Little Black Cormorant (Phalacrocorax sulcirostris)
Australian Pied Cormorant (Phalacrocorax varius)
Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)
White-breasted Cormorant (Phalacrocorax lucidus)
Japanese Cormorant (Phalacrocorax capillatus)
Cape Cormorant (Phalacrocorax capensis)
Socotra Cormorant (Phalacrocorax nigrogularis)
Rock Shag (Phalacrocorax magellanicus)
Guanay Cormorant (Leucocarbo bougainvillii)
Imperial Shag (Leucocarbo atriceps)
South Georgia Shag (Leucocarbo georgianus)
Antarctic Shag (Leucocarbo bransfieldensis)
Heard Island Shag (Leucocarbo nivalis)
Crozet Shag (Leucocarbo melanogenis)
Macquarie Shag (Leucocarbo purpurascens)
Kerguelen Shag (Leucocarbo verrucosus)
New Zealand King Shag (Leucocarbo carunculatus)
Otago Shag (Leucocarbo chalconotus)
Foveaux Shag (Leucocarbo stewarti)
Chatham Shag (Leucocarbo onslowi)
Campbell Shag (Leucocarbo campbelli)
Auckland Shag (Leucocarbo colensoi)
Bounty Shag (Leucocarbo ranfurlyi)


On the photos or slides, a “by” indicates one of the photographers or videographers with links on our sidebar. Please visit their sight to see many more fantastic shots, a “©©” copyright symbol indicates a photo from Creative Commons and ©WikiC is a Creative Commons photo from Wikipedia.

Photographers or Videographers used on this page from our sidebar, Photography, are:
Bob & Nan’s Gallery
Dan’s Pix (Dan)
Dave’s BirdingPix
Keith Blomerley – Videographer
Nick Talbot – Videographer
Nikhil Devasar’s Gallery
Robert Scanlon’s Gallery
William Kwong’s Galleries

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The bird family Phalacrocoracidae or the cormorants (/ˈkɔrmərənts/) is represented by some 40 species of cormorants and shags. Several different classifications of the family have been proposed recently, and the number of genera is disputed.

There is no consistent distinction between cormorants and shags. The names “cormorant” and “shag” were originally the common names of the two species of the family found in Great Britain, Phalacrocorax carbo (now referred to by ornithologists as the Great Cormorant) and P. aristotelis (the European Shag). “Shag” refers to the bird’s crest, which the British forms of the Great Cormorant lack. As other species were discovered by English-speaking sailors and explorers elsewhere in the world, some were called cormorants and some shags, depending on whether they had crests or not. Sometimes the same species is called a cormorant in one part of the world and a shag in another, e.g., the Great Cormorant is called the Black Shag in New Zealand (the birds found in Australasia have a crest that is absent in European members of the species). Van Tets (1976) proposed to divide the family into two genera and attach the name “Cormorant” to one and “Shag” to the other, but this flies in the face of common usage and has not been widely adopted. They do not have external nares (nostrils) and breath solely through their epiglottis.

The scientific genus name is latinized Ancient Greek, from φαλακρός (phalakros, “bald”) and κόραξ (korax, “raven”). This is often thought to refer to the creamy white patch on the cheeks of adult Great Cormorants, or the ornamental white head plumes prominent in Mediterranean birds of this species, but is certainly not a unifying characteristic of cormorants. “Cormorant” is a contraction derived either directly from Latin corvus marinus, “sea raven” or through Brythonic Celtic. Cormoran is the Cornish name of the sea giant in the tale of Jack the Giant Killer. Indeed, “sea raven” or analogous terms were the usual terms for cormorants in Germanic languages until after the Middle Ages. The French explorer André Thévet commented in 1558 that “…the beak [is] similar to that of a cormorant or other corvid,” which demonstrates that the erroneous belief that the birds were related to ravens lasted at least to the 16th century.(Wikipedia with editing)

Some of the Family – Photos are Alphabetical down the columns:

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