Our Latest News

Campfire restrictions extended due to increasing fire risk

19/01/2018

In the interests of public safety, the Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) has brought in extensive campfire restrictions as the fire risk continues to increase this summer.More

Improved toilet facilities at Bruny Island

16/01/2018

The Parks and Wildlife Service has completed work on a new toilet facility at the Bruny Island Neck Game Reserve.More

Further upgrade to South Coast Track

05/01/2018

The South Coast Track is one of Tasmania's great bushwalks, and the completion of recent upgrades has significantly improved the user experience along the track before the start of the peak walking season.More

Black-faced Cormorant, Phalacrocorax fuscescens

Unlike the other cormorants in Tasmania, the Black-faced Cormorant is exclusively coastal and marine.

The species is also called the Black-faced Shag. There is no clear distinction between cormorants and shags, and the names are often used interchangeably in different parts of an animals range.

Description

The Black-faced Cormorant is a large (to 700mm) bird with black upperparts and white underparts and a distinctive black crown that reaches the eye. There is a black mark on each thigh. The bill is dark grey, the naked face is black and the eyes are blue-green. The legs and feet are black.

During the breeding season the plumage develops fine, white streaks on the neck which are lost after egg laying.

The similar Little Pied Cormorant is smaller and has a yellow bill.

Habitat

Black-faced Cormorants occur exclusively in coastal and marine waters such as large bays, deep inlets, rocky headlands and offshore islands. They seldom visit beaches.

Diet

The Black-faced-Cormorant feeds largely on small coastal fish which they catch by diving from the surface. The birds sometimes forage in flocks. After fishing, they sit with wings outstretched to dry their non-waterproofed feathers.

Breeding

The Black-faced Cormorant breeds throughout the year in large or small colonies on off-shore islands. The nest of seaweed, sticks and grasses is always on the ground, usually on bare rock. Two pale green eggs are laid.

Call

The Black-faced Cormorant is mostly client when away from the nest.
Distribution Map courtesy Natural Values Atlas, data from theLIST
© 2010 State of Tasmania

Distribution

The Black-faced Cormorant is endemic to coastal regions of southern Australia from eastern Victoria to Cape Leeuwin, Western Australia.

It is common around the coast of Tasmania and the islands of Bass Strait. It can often be seen perched on jetties, buoys and breakwaters.