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Pygmy cormorant

Phalacrocorax pygmeus

Pygmy Cormorant is an aquatic species, most often found in Romania in the Danube Delta and the Lower Danube.

Read below and find more information.


A significant presence of the species are also found along the Prut River basin. Although it is considered a migratory species, many specimens remain in our country even in tough winter. When water freezes, pygmy cormorants can also be found in the ports, where they cand find unfrozen water.


  • Aquatic Species.
  • Plumage: Brown to purple.
  • During mating, adults have dark brown neck and head and body, metallic green sheen with small white spots. Otherwise, the white spots disappear and the chest becomes dark red brown.
  • In proportion to body size, beak and head are small and the tail is long.
  • Pygmy cormorant shedes completely before the end of November.
  • The eyes are round, dark brown.
  • Length: approximately 45-55 cm.
  • Wingspan: about 80-90 cm.
  • Food: small fish (in, carp, pike), tadpoles and other aquatic invertebrates.


Regarding fisheries, the pygmy cormorant is a harmful bird. Cormorants are not agreed by fishermen, because of the high consumption of fish or because, in some cases, they brok the fishing nets.

Did you know...

  • Pygmy cormorant is the initiator of mixed colinies? This species nests with great cormorants and herons.
  • Pygmy cormorants sink up to several meters deep and for up to 1 minute to catch food?
  • Because their plumage is not waterproof, pygmy cormorants are forced, after each dive, to spread their wings to dry feathers? Cormorants don’t have uropigiene glands (glands that are found in most aquatic birds in the queue and are designed to secrete an oily substance that is designed to prevent water soaking feathers).
  • In Iran, pygmy cormorants meat is consumed and marketed for this purpose?

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