|Conservation status||Population in Aleutians thought to have been increasing for several decades. Since late 1950s has expanded range east along south coast of Alaska, becoming very common east to Prince William Sound. Despite increase, remains vulnerable to oil spills and other pollution.|
|Habitat||Ocean, coast, islands. Spends most of its time close to shore in cool ocean waters, favoring rocky bays, straits between islands. Nests on rocky islands or coasts, on ledges of cliffs or steep slopes.|
See family introduction. Solitary in foraging; may feed near bottom in rocky areas.
3-4. Bluish white, becoming nest-stained. Incubation is by both sexes, probably about 31-34 days. Young: probably fed by both parents. Age at which young leave nest estimated at 50-60 days.
probably fed by both parents. Age at which young leave nest estimated at 50-60 days.
Mostly fish. Feeds on a variety of fish, especially sculpins, also pollack, sand lance, others. Also eats crustaceans including crabs, shrimp, amphipods.
Breeds in mixed colonies with other seabirds. In display, male perches with head over back, bill pointed up, moving head up and down, while quickly raising and lowering tips of folded wings so that white patches on flanks are rapidly covered and exposed, appearing to flash on and off. Nest: site is on ledge (wide or narrow) of cliff or steep slope above water. Nest is mound of grass, seaweed, moss, debris, with deep hollow in center, sometimes lined with feathers. Nest may be re-used in subsequent years.
Illustration © David Allen Sibley.
Learn more about these drawings.
Text © Kenn Kaufman, adapted from
Lives of North American Birds
Download Our Bird Guide App
Mostly permanent resident. Very rare straggler away from nesting areas (though may winter away from breeding sites in Kuril Islands, north of Japan).
- All Seasons - Common
- All Seasons - Uncommon
- Breeding - Common
- Breeding - Uncommon
- Winter - Common
- Winter - Uncommon
- Migration - Common
- Migration - Uncommon
See a fully interactive migration map for over 450 bird species on the Bird Migration Explorer.Learn more
Songs and CallsA low korr. Hoarse croaking notes at breeding colonies.
Learn more about this sound collection.
How Climate Change Will Reshape the Range of the Red-faced Cormorant
Audubon’s scientists have used 140 million bird observations and sophisticated climate models to project how climate change will affect this bird’s range in the future.
Zoom in to see how this species’s current range will shift, expand, and contract under increased global temperatures.
Climate threats facing the Red-faced Cormorant
Choose a temperature scenario below to see which threats will affect this species as warming increases. The same climate change-driven threats that put birds at risk will affect other wildlife and people, too.