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Nature is an adventure waiting to be had. Heathland home to more than 2565 species. See some of the ways you can get into green living. However, there has been a steep increase inland in England and in regions bordering the northern part of the Irish Sea. They can be tricky to tell apart, especially in the case of young birds. It is often seen standing with its wings held out to dry. There are two species of the cormorant family which occur in the UK: the cormorant and the shag. The cormorant can be seen all year round. The recently extinct spectacled cormorant (Phalacrocorax perspicillatus) was rather larger, at an average size of 6.3 kg (14 lb). Do cormorants have any natural predators? Cormorants are now widespread throughout Britain & Ireland with the highest densities on the coast, at estuaries and on inland waters. UK wintering is the number of individuals present from October to March. than at the end of the summer, when the new young have fledged), the margins of confidence (e.g. The Cormorant population has decreased in Scotland, northeast and southwest England. Following the floods this winter, watch how one area is using nature as a natural protector. Better availability of supplies of suitable fish in some waters (although not necessarily If you can’t get outside, why not bring the outside in by downloading our bird song radio app? The gangly Double-crested Cormorant is a prehistoric-looking, matte-black fishing bird with yellow-orange facial skin. The cormorant has a stouter, more powerful beak than the shag. Annex I of the EU Birds Directive (2009/147 EC), the geographical range of the countries included (e.g. In recent decades its North American population has gone through a great increase and expansion, with the nesting range now extending south into New England. Occasionally, they turn up inland along rivers and lakes, but usually alone (cormorants are often seen in groups inland). The reserve has seen more than thirty species of wading birds. Europe including Ukraine & Russia), whether referring to breeding pairs or total population (individuals including non-breeders) Cormorant young and eggs are prey to larger predatory birds like eagles, gulls, and crows. See our toolkit for ways to campaign with us to protect nature and save wildlife. The Double-crested (which rarely looks noticeably crested in the field) is the most generally distributed cormorant in North America, and the only one likely to be seen inland in most areas. many counts are based on a proportion of available during as well as outside the breeding season, Prohibition of the pesticides most dangerous to the birds. mortality the numbers are always much lower at the start of the breeding season 7 Cool Cormorant Facts. We spend 90% of net income on conservation, public education and advocacy, The RSPB is a member of BirdLife International. Who to contact if you spot an injured or baby bird, Help nature thrive as a corporate partner, Climate change effects on nature and wildlife. Shags are birds of the coast. This bird species has different identifying features depending on sex/age/season. It shows general distribution rather than detailed, localised populations. Phalacrocorax carbo Widespread in the Old World, the Great Cormorant was once an uncommon and local breeder in a limited area of eastern Canada. Cormorants and shags are medium-to-large seabirds. and quality, new gravel pits and other man-made water bodies, inland fish farming, The cormorant is found around the UK coastline on rocky shores, coastal lagoons and estuaries, it is increasingly being seen inland at reservoirs, lakes and gravel pits. * This map is intended as a guide. The only continents where Phalacrocorax carbo is absent are South America and Antarctica. UK passage is the number of individuals passing through on migration in spring and/or autumn. Young birds sometimes show the hint of the adult bird's crest. UK breeding is the number of pairs breeding annually. This fantastic wetland site is located north of Southport town centre and has some of the best wildlife in the region. it would be necessary to estimate numbers in areas that were not counted), A significant decline in persecution of the birds and far greater protection afforded It feeds on the sea, in estuaries, and on freshwater lakes and rivers. The majority, including nearly all Northern Hemisphere species, have mainly dark plumage, but some So… SC037654, We use cookies on our website to help give you the best online experience. Cormorants can be found either on the coast or at inland waters, where there are some large breeding colonies. the year of reference, if dealing with the total population, the time of year (because due to high winter Find out more about the partnership, © The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a registered charity: England and Wales no. enrichment) of water bodies, etc. Northern birds migrate south and winter along any coast that is well-supplied with fish. They range in size from the pygmy cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmaeus), at as little as 45 cm (18 in) and 340 g (12 oz), to the flightless cormorant (Phalacrocorax harrisi), at a maximum size 100 cm (39 in) and 5 kg (11 lb). Get out, get busy and get wild! As well as a free gift and magazines, you’ll get loads of ideas for activities to try at home. Catch up with the RSPB’s own nature detectives on the case as they look to save some very special places. 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