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Tarkine Drive visitor facility upgrades

17/09/2018

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New improved Fortescue Bay boat ramp

14/09/2018

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Next steps on the new Cradle Mountain visitor experience

10/09/2018

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Little black cormorant, Phalacrocorax sulcirostris

Description

The Little Black Cormorant is small (600mm), slender and completely black with a greenish sheen on the back. In the breeding season, the green tinge becomes more bronze and fine white flecks develop on the head and neck. It has a grey hooked bill and blue-green eyes.

The Little Black Cormorant is one of only two fully black cormorants in Tasmania, although the much larger Great Cormorant has a white-yellow throat pouch.

Birds form large flocks, especially during winter. Flight is in V-formations, with wingbeats noticeably faster than that of Great Cormorants.

Habitat

The Little Black Cormorant is found in coastal waters, estuaries and inlets, inland rivers, lagoons and wetlands. It is seldom seen on dry land, but is often seen resting on rocks, jetties and other perches in water.

Diet

The Little Black Cormorant feeds on fish, crustaceans and aquatic insects. Birds often feed in large flocks, often in association with Little Pied Cormorants. Its large, fully webbed feet aid propulsion when chasing fish underwater.

As their feathers are not waterproof, cormorants are often seen perched with their wings outstretched to dry.

Breeding

The Little Black Cormorant nests colonially. Large stick and bark nests are made in trees over water or on the ground. Both sexes share nest-building, incubation and feeding of the young. 3-4 pale green eggs are laid.

Call

Guttural croaking near the nest, ticking and croaking in feeding flocks. 
Distribution Map courtesy Natural Values Atlas, data from theLIST
© 2010 State of Tasmania

Distribution

The Little Black Cormorant is found throughout Australia. It is also found from Borneo and Java to Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Solomon Islands, and Palau.

It is a regular but uncommon visitor to Tasmania. It can often be seen on the Derwent estuary upstream from Granton.