Black-faced cormorant

Black-faced cormorant
Image: JJ Harrison
Community type

Tidal flats

Habitat type

Saltmarsh and tidal flats

One of the most common cormorant species in Tasmania, the black faced cormorant is a regular sight in the Derwent estuary year round. They nest in colonies on exposed rocky islands or coastal cliffs, and roost on jetties, islands and snagged trees. Black faced cormorants are good divers, and can hold their breath for up to 60 seconds. This enables them to dive to the bottom of the Derwent estuary in pursuit of prey. They mainly eat small fish like baitfish and juvenile leatherjackets. Unlike other cormorants, they are largely marine. In fact they have a larger nasal salt gland than any other cormorants, so they can live exclusively on marine prey.

Much of the text within the species area of our website was written by Veronica Thorpe, as part of the Derwent River Wildlife Guide (2000).

The DEP has developed a variety of classroom and outdoor activities focused around the key estuary habitats of tidal wetlands, salt marshes and rocky reefs. These include classroom materials, online resources, interpretive walks, games and sensory experiences.