Phalacrocorax carbo

What do they look like?

Cormorants are large, primitive looking waterbirds, with dark feathers and a long neck. Easily confused with the shag, cormorants are larger in size and sport a bright white patch on their face and thigh during the breeding season.

When can I see them in Scotland?

All year

Where can I see them in Scotland?

Cormorants are frequently seen both around the coast and further inland, frequently spotted feeding and resting at reservoirs and lochs. They may be seen diving from the surface of the water or holding out their waterlogged wings to dry them out in the breeze.

Conservation Status:

In the UK, bird species with breeding, passage or wintering populations are assessed by experts and assigned to the Red, Amber or Green lists of conservation concern. Cormorants are currently a ‘Green’ listed species.

145 cm
3 - 4
28 - 31 days
48 - 52 days
11 years
Average Lifespan

A cormorant soaring over the sea.
(c) Jamie McDermaid