Family Cormorants (Phalacrocoracidae)

Least Concern

Red-faced Cormorant (Urile urile)


French: Cormoran à face rouge German: Rotgesichtscharbe Spanish: Cormorán carirrojo
Other common names: Red-faced Shag

Pelecanus Urile

J. F. Gmelin

, 1789,

Kamchatka, Russia


Sometimes placed in genus Stictocarbo, Phalacrocorax or occasionally in Leucocarbo, but classification here follows results of a comprehensive molecular phylogeny for the entire family#R. Monotypic.


N Pacific from N Japan (NE Hokkaido), E Kamchatka, Kuril Is and Commander Is E to Aleutian Is, Pribilof Is and S Alaska.

Descriptive notes

71–89 cm; 1644–2552 g; wingspan 110–122 cm. Breeding adult has erectile crest on crown and another in nuchal region. Most of plumage black strongly... read more


Low, weak, guttural, croaking “kwoon” or “gwoo” notes reported at colonies.


Exclusively marine. Breeds along rocky coasts and on offshore islands.

Food and feeding

Variety of small fish and crustaceans, including crabs and shrimps. Feeds mainly by pursuit-diving.


Colonial, sometimes mixed with U. pelagicus. Nests on cliff ledges. Nests broad and well built, mainly of grass and seaweed.... read more


Basically sedentary, dispersing over nearby coasts during winter.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). The global population is estimated to number > 200,000 individuals, following a major increase during second half of 20th century... read more

Recommended citation

Orta, J., Garcia, E.F.J., Jutglar, F. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Red-faced Cormorant (Urile urile). 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 June 2019).