Black-faced cormorant

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Black-faced cormorant
Phalacrocorax fuscescens - Derwent River Estuary.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Suliformes
Family: Phalacrocoracidae
Genus: Phalacrocorax
Species: P. fuscescens
Binomial name
Phalacrocorax fuscescens
(Vieillot, 1817)
Black-faced Comorant.png
Distribution of the black-faced cormorant
Roosting, Bruny Island
In flight

The black-faced cormorant (Phalacrocorax fuscescens), also known as the black-faced shag, is a medium-sized member of the cormorant family. Upperparts, including facial skin and bill, are black, with white underparts. It is endemic to coastal regions of southern Australia.


The black-faced cormorant feeds largely on small coastal fish, diving in depths up to 12 m. Fish of lengths up to 50 cm have been observed to be taken. The birds sometimes forage in flocks, apparently in an organised way.


It is found along much of the southern coast of Australia from eastern Victoria to Cape Leeuwin, Western Australia, as well as around the coast of Tasmania and the islands of Bass Strait.


Unlike the other cormorants found around the Australian continent, the habitat of the black-faced cormorant is exclusively coastal and marine.