Brandt’s Cormorant

pelagicBrandt’s Cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicillatus) – Brandt’s Cormorants are found along the Pacific coast from Alaska to Baja. Their habitat being marine and estuarine, they nest colonially on offshore rocks and are the most common of the cormorants on the Oregon coast in the summer. They begin laying eggs in late March or early April. A nest is constructed of seaweed, algae, grasses and mosses. Four eggs are laid, sometimes up to six. Incubation lasts about 30 days and is done by both sexes. They feed the altricial young by regurgitation. They hunt for schooling fish in the upper water column. Like all cormorants, their feathers are not waterproof which decreases their buoyancy making it easier for them to catch their prey. Their longevity record is 17 years. Brandt’s Cormorants can be seen from April to August at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area , Heceta Head State Scenic Viewpoint, Coquille Point. They can also be found in estuaries and near shore waters.

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