Bird Families

New Zealand Cormorant / Leucocarbo carunculatus


  • Leucocarbo carunculatus - gatunek ptaka z rodziny kormoranów (Phalacrocoracidae), zamieszkuje obszar Nowej Zelandii

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These are medium to large birds of the size of a duck or goose. Body length 50-100 cm, wingspan 80-160 cm. The plumage of most species is black with a metallic sheen, some species have white spots on the head and belly. During incubation and hatching of chicks, the bare skin on the head, throat sac, eye rings and beak turn red, yellow, green or brown. As a rule, sexual dimorphism (visible differences in females and males) appears only in size (males are larger). In juveniles, the plumage is light brown, and the lower part is lighter than the upper one. A thin cylindrical beak is bent at the end in the form of a hook; nostrils are absent. At the base of the beak there is a patch of bare skin, according to the shape of which closely related species are distinguished. Feet are webbed, located far behind.

Long wings, neck and tail make their silhouette cruciform in flight. The head of a seated, swimming or flying bird is usually slightly raised. On land they sit vertically, with their neck stretched out, on the water - deeply, with their tail lowered into the water and their beak raised. The flight is fast, straightforward. Take off from the water with a running start.


They feed mainly on fish (capelin, anchovy, herring, sardine), but can eat shellfish, crustaceans and cephalopods. The inhabitants of the islands feed on fish, frogs, aquatic insects, sea snakes and turtles.


They nest in colonies, often large, usually together with other colonial birds and other animals: gulls, terns, penguins, boobies, seals and others. The nest is built from branches and grass on trees, less often on reed creases, flat islands or on coastal rocks. Clutch of 4-6 dull, bluish eggs with white streaks.

The incubation period lasts 24-31 days, eggs are laid alternately for several days, so the chicks differ greatly in size. Only the chicks that have appeared are helpless, they have no plumage. The pre-plumage period varies greatly and lasts 35-80 days. Sometimes the parents continue to feed the chicks after fledging for two to four months. Adult plumage in different species appears at different intervals from one to four years. Sexual maturity occurs in two to four years, depending on the species.

They dive well, while the transparent blinking membrane serves as a kind of underwater glasses. In the morning and in the evening, you can see how large flocks of cormorants fly in chains from an overnight stay to hunting grounds and back. Voice - dull croak or groan.


The International Union of Ornithologists distinguishes 42 species in three genera:

  • Leucocarbo
    • Leucocarbo atriceps
    • Bougainville Cormorant (Leucocarbo bougainvillii)
    • Antarctic blue-eyed cormorant (Leucocarbo bransfieldensis)
    • Campbell Cormorant (Leucocarbo campbelli)
    • New Zealand cormorant (Leucocarbo carunculatus)
    • Leucocarbo chalconotus
    • Oakland cormorant (Leucocarbo colensoi)
    • Leucocarbo georgianus
    • Leucocarbo melanogenis
    • Leucocarbo nivalis
    • Leucocarbo onslowi
    • Leucocarbo purpurascens
    • Leucocarbo ranfurlyi
    • Leucocarbo stewarti
    • Leucocarbo verrucosus
  • Microcarbo
    • Reed cormorant (Microcarbo africanus)
    • Cormorant cormorant (Microcarbo coronatus)
    • Lesser spotted cormorant (Microcarbo melanoleucos)
    • Javanese cormorant (Microcarbo niger)
    • Small cormorant (Microcarbo pygmaeus)
  • Phalacrocorax
    • Crested, or long-nosed, cormorant (Phalacrocorax aristotelis)
    • Long-eared cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)
    • Phalacrocorax brasilianus
    • Cape cormorant (Phalacrocorax capensis)
    • Japanese cormorant (Phalacrocorax capillatus)
    • Great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)
    • Phalacrocorax featherstoni
    • White-breasted cormorant (Phalacrocorax fuscescens)
    • Indian cormorant (Phalacrocorax fuscicollis)
    • Red-footed cormorant (Phalacrocorax gaimardi)
    • Galapagos flightless cormorant (Phalacrocorax harrisi)
    • Phalacrocorax lucidus
    • Magellanic cormorant (Phalacrocorax magellanicus)
    • Coastal cormorant (Phalacrocorax neglectus)
    • Persian cormorant (Phalacrocorax nigrogularis)
    • Bering cormorant (Phalacrocorax pelagicus)
    • Cormorant Brandt (Phalacrocorax penicillatus)
    • † Steller Cormorant (Phalacrocorax perspicillatus)
    • Spotted cormorant (Phalacrocorax punctatus)
    • Lesser black cormorant (Phalacrocorax sulcirostris)
    • Red-faced cormorant (Phalacrocorax urile)
    • Motley cormorant (Phalacrocorax varius)