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Celebrating the achievements of landcarers

04/12/2017

The Tamar Island Wetland Cares Volunteer Group has been recognised in the 2017 Landcare Tasmania Awards.More

Horsetail Falls walk now open

15/11/2017

Visitors to the West Coast are in for some spectacular views on the new Horsetail Falls walk near Queenstown.More

Bruny Island Neck lookout re-opens

10/11/2017

The walkways and lookout at the Bruny Island Neck will re-open to the public today, following the completion of a new, larger car park that will provide improved access to the popular lookout.More

Little Pied Cormorant, Phalacrocorax melanoleucos

Description

The Little Pied Cormorant is a relatively small cormorant (550 to 640 mm). It is black above and white below. In adult birds, it is distinguished by the white of the underside extending to above the eye.

Chicks have dark brown down and immature birds are a dull blackish brown.

Habitat

The Little Pied Cormorant is found in either fresh or salt water, often in large flocks on open waterways and the coast. They are often seen sitting in trees and on rocks or piers with their wings outstretched sunning themselves and drying their wings. This is because their wing feathers are not waterproof.

Diet

Little Pied Cormorants feed on a wide variety of aquatic animals, from insects and crustaceans to fish.  These are caught by deep underwater dives with both feet kicking outward in unison. Their beaks have a hook at the end to help them hold onto slippery food such as fish.

Breeding

Little Pied Cormorants breed once a year in spring or early summer, either in colonies or, less commonly, in single pairs. The nest is a flat platform of branches and sticks, lined with green leaves and is usually placed in a tree. Four or five pale blue oval eggs are laid. Both adults share in egg incubation and care of the young.

Call

Little Pied Cormorants emit a querulous, croaking call which is rarely heard away from roosts or colonies.
Distribution Map courtesy Natural Values Atlas, data from theLIST © 2010 State of Tasmania.

Distribution

One of the most common of Australia's waterbirds, the Little Pied Cormorant is widespread throughout coastal Australia and fresh water in inland areas of eastern Australia.

It is also found around the coasts, islands, estuaries and inland waters of New Guinea, New Zealand, Malaysia and Indonesia, as well as as the islands of the south-western Pacific and the sub-Antarctic.

In Tasmania, the species is easily seen in many estuarine and coastal areas, including the Derwent River at Granton and Tamar Island near Launceston.