Family Cormorants (Phalacrocoracidae)

Least Concern

Little Black Cormorant (Phalacrocorax sulcirostris)


French: Cormoran noir German: Schwarzscharbe Spanish: Cormorán totinegro

Carbo sulcirostris

J. F. Brandt

, 1837,

New South Wales, Australia


Sometimes placed in genus Hypoleucos. Division into two or three subspecies appears to be unjustified. Monotypic.


Java and Wallacea E to New Guinea, Aru Is, Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand (mostly North I) and New Caledonia#R.

Descriptive notes

55–65 cm; 520–1210 g; wingspan 95–105 cm. Rather long-tailed, small, slim, crestless cormorant with rather thin bill. Breeding adult has head, neck and most... read more


At breeding site, displaying male gives hoarse bark and “ak-he” call; harsh croaking as... read more


Mainly inland waters, including lakes and swamps; commonly on reservoirs and ponds, even in urban... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly fish; also some crustaceans and other invertebrates. In much of Australia takes large quantities of introduced fish, e.g. carp (... read more


Breeds in all months, depending on water conditions and food availability; Apr–Aug in N Australia. Normally forms small colonies of... read more


Mainly sedentary. Dispersive in Australia, with major movements related to droughts and temporary... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Widespread in Australia, with breeding colonies of up to 1400 nests reported. Has benefited in Australia from construction of dams... read more

Recommended citation

Orta, J., Christie, D.A., Jutglar, F. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Little Black Cormorant (Phalacrocorax sulcirostris). 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 5 December 2019).