Family Cormorants (Phalacrocoracidae)

Least Concern

Black-faced Cormorant (Phalacrocorax fuscescens)


French: Cormoran de Tasmanie German: Schwarzgesichtscharbe Spanish: Cormorán carinegro

Hydrocorax fuscescens


, 1817,

“Australasie” = Tasmania


Sometimes placed in Leucocarbo or Compsohalieus. Monotypic.


Coasts of S Australia, with two independent populations: one in S Western Australia; and one in South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania.

Descriptive notes

61–69 cm; male 1515 g; wingspan 93–107 cm. Pied bird with bare dark facial skin and no crest. Entire upperparts and outer thighs black with green to greenish-blue... read more


Usually silent away from breeding colonies. At nest, calls include “aargh...aargh” in threat, “ah-... read more


Marine. Feeds in coastal waters, sometimes in sheltered places, including bays and inlets;... read more

Food and feeding

Principally fish, including Gymnapistes marmoratus, Atherinidae and Clinidae. Pellet analysis at Notch I colony, Bass Strait,... read more


Season variable; probably mostly Aug–Jan, but also recorded Apr–Jun; in Notch I, N Bass Strait, breeds during winter, laying... read more


Basically sedentary, with some dispersal of young birds. No records of movements between the two... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Total population probably numbers several tens of thousands of birds; major colonies in South Australia, with 3000 nests at Winceby I... read more

Recommended citation

Orta, J., Jutglar, F., Garcia, E.F.J., Kirwan, G.M. & Boesman, P. (2019). Black-faced Cormorant (Phalacrocorax fuscescens). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 24 August 2019).