Family Cormorants (Phalacrocoracidae)


Flightless Cormorant (Nannopterum harrisi)


French: Cormoran aptère German: Galápagosscharbe Spanish: Cormorán mancón
Other common names: Galapagos Cormorant

Phalacrocorax harrisi


, 1898,

Narborough Island, Galapagos Archipelago


Has sometimes been placed in genus Leucocarbo, Phalacrocorax or Compsohalieus, but phylogenetic study, however, indicates that this species is sister to N. auritus and N. brasilianus, and belongs in present genus#R. Monotypic.


Fernandina I and N & W Isabela I, in Galapagos Is.

Descriptive notes

89–100 cm; c. 2·5–4 kg, male heavier than female; wing c. 25 cm. Large, dull cormorant with very short wings. Adult has entire upperparts, wing and tail... read more


Low growling notes given by both sexes during display; repeated hoarse “aaha” in aggression.


Marine. Feeds in cold, rich inshore waters connected with upwelling of Cromwell Current. Breeds on... read more

Food and feeding

Takes benthic prey: fish, including eels (Anguilliformes) and rockfish (Sebastidae); octopus and squid. Feeds mainly by pursuit-diving.... read more


Laying recorded in all months of year, but mainly Mar–Sept (especially Jul–Aug); sometimes breeds twice per annum. Forms small... read more


Limited by flightlessness, and completely sedentary, lacking even post breeding dispersal. Strongly... read more

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Has extremely small range, comprising only two islands, and status could change for worse, such that it could become Critically Endangered, given potential future... read more

Recommended citation

Orta, J., Garcia, E.F.J., Christie, D.A., Jutglar, F. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Flightless Cormorant (Nannopterum harrisi). 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 17 August 2019).