Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)


We usually observe cormorants on seawalls or at the islands we visit to see the puffins. Sometimes you see them with their wings spread out. They do this because they need to dry their wings before flying, as they have no waterproofing oils like most seabirds. They have also been known to swallow stones to allow them to dive deeper and also help them to grind food in their stomachs. We see the majority of cormorants in the winter.

Average Length: 90 cm
Average Weight: 2.5 kg Males, 2.1 kg Females
Wingspan: 145 cm
Diet: Fish
Est. population around Iceland: ~ 3,200 pairs
Residence Period: All year round
Nesting habitat: Large lakes and coastal
Nesting Period: Mid March to Late June
Clutch size (No eggs): 3-4
Incubation time (days): 28-31
Fledging time: 48-52
Typical life span (years): 11
Age at first breeding (years): 3
IUCN world Status: Least concern
Major Threats: Climate change, predation, hunted to utilize and reduce numbers around fish farms, pollution, entanglement in fishing gear, viruses, wind farm disturbance
Other Names: Dílaskarfur, Skarv, Merimetso, Kormoran, Marangone, Kormoranzwyczajny, Cormorángrande, Aalscholver, Grand Cormoran, Kárókatona, Storskarv, Corvo-marinho-de-faces-brancas