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Description The Black-faced Cormorant is a large pied (black and white) cormorant with a naked black face. The upper parts are also black, the underparts are white, with a black mark on each thigh. The bill is dark grey, and the eyes are blue-green. The legs and feet are black. This species is also called the Black-faced Shag (shags are strictly marine cormorants). Similar species The similarly sized and coloured Pied Cormorant, P. varius, has a yellow-orange naked face and a paler, grey bill. The Little Pied Cormorant, P. melanoleucos, is smaller and has a yellow bill. Where does it live? Distribution The Black-faced Cormorant is found along the southern coasts of mainland Australia and Tasmania, and is common in Bass Strait and in Spencer Gulf, South Australia. Habitat Black-faced Cormorants frequent coastal waters and are found in flocks in large bays, deep inlets, rocky headlands and islands. They seldom visit beaches. Seasonal movements Black-faced Cormorants are sedentary. What does it do? Feeding Black-faced Cormorants feed on small fish, which they catch by diving from the surface. After fishing, they sit with wings outstretched, apparently to dry their non-waterproofed feathers. Breeding The Black-faced Cormorant breeds throughout the year in large colonies on off-shore islands. The nest is always on the ground, usually of seaweed and grasses on bare rock.
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