Photos of Cormorant / Shag Species

Cormorants and shags are medium-to-large seabirds that are mostly found along the coasts, but some colonize inland waters.

They range around the world, although most of them are found in the Northern Hemisphere.

Those occurring in the Northern Hemisphere have a mostly dark plumage. Some Southern Hemisphere species have a plumage that is black and white. A few species are quite colorful. Many species have a facial skin that can be red, yellow, orange or bright blue when in breeding condition.

They are most easily recognized by the way they hold their wings out in the sun to dry them after foraging in water. Unlike other water birds, their feathers are not waterproofed.

Below are images of the different cormorant species. Each photo is linked the respective species page with information and more photos.

Northern Pacific Ocean / Northern Hemisphere

Red-faced Cormorant, Red-faced Shag or Violet Shag, Phalacrocorax urile
Pelagic Cormorant
Great Cormorants

Europe / Asia / Africa

Pygmy Cormorants
European Shag or Common Shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis)
European Shags also known as Common Shags
Cape Cormorant
White-breasted Cormorant
Long-tailed Cormorants

Americas (also includes those found on islands south of the Americas)

Double-crested Cormorant
Brandt's Cormorant
Rock Shags
Neotropic Cormorants
Flightless Cormorant
Imperial Shags
Guanay Cormorants
Auckland Shags

Australia / New Zealand / Australasia

Little-pied Cormorant (Microcarbo melanoleucos)
Pied Cormorants
Black-faced Cormorant
Little Black Cormorants
Auckland Shags
Stewart Island Shags
Spotted Shags


Little Cormorants
Indian Cormorants

Indian Ocean

Kerguelen Shags
Photo of author

Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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