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

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Species (42)

Little Pied Cormorant (Microcarbo melanoleucos) by WKwong
Reed Cormorant (Microcarbo africanus) by Dave’s
Crowned Cormorant (Microcarbo coronatus)
Little Cormorant (Microcarbo niger) by Nikhil
Pygmy Cormorant (Microcarbo pygmeus)
Red-legged Cormorant (Phalacrocorax gaimardi) by Bob-Nan
Flightless Cormorant (Phalacrocorax harrisi) by Bob-Nan
Bank Cormorant (Phalacrocorax neglectus)
Spotted Shag (Phalacrocorax punctatus) by WKwong
Pitt Shag (Phalacrocorax featherstoni)
Pallas’s Cormorant (Phalacrocorax perspicillatus †)  OBI
Brandt’s Cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicillatus) by Dave’s BirdingPix
Pelagic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pelagicus) by Dave’s BirdingPix
Red-faced Cormorant (Phalacrocorax urile) by Dave’s BirdingPix
Neotropic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax brasilianus) by Dave’s BirdingPix
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) by Dan
European Shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis) ©AGrosset
Black-faced Cormorant (Phalacrocorax fuscescens)
Indian Cormorant (Phalacrocorax fuscicollis) by R Scanlon
Little Black Cormorant (Phalacrocorax sulcirostris) ©AGrosset
Australian Pied Cormorant (Phalacrocorax varius) by Ian
Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) by J Fenton
White-breasted Cormorant (Phalacrocorax lucidus)
Japanese Cormorant (Phalacrocorax capillatus)
Cape Cormorant (Phalacrocorax capensis) by Ian
Socotra Cormorant (Phalacrocorax nigrogularis)
Rock Shag (Phalacrocorax magellanicus) by Dave’s BirdingPix
Guanay Cormorant (Leucocarbo bougainvillii) ©AGrosset
Imperial Shag (Leucocarbo atriceps) by WKwong
____ (Leucocarbo atriceps albiventer) Dave’s Birding Pix
South Georgia Shag (Leucocarbo georgianus) IBC
Antarctic Shag (Leucocarbo bransfieldensis) WorldBirds
Heard Island Shag (Leucocarbo nivalis) MuseumVictoria
Crozet Shag (Leucocarbo melanogenis) IBC Video
Macquarie Shag (Leucocarbo purpurascens) IBC
Kerguelen Shag (Leucocarbo verrucosus) ©J Le Fevre
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
Nikhil Devasar’s Gallery-II
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)

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