Brandt’s Cormorant

BC Status Red
Scientific Name
Phalacrocorax penicillatus
Taxonomic Group
Breeding Birds
Inshore marine
Brandt's Cormorant

Species Summary

These seabirds are found along the Pacific Coast from Baja California, to Prince William Sound, Alaska. Nesting occurs over most of their range but is focused primarily in Baja California and some islands in the Gulf of California. Most breeding in British Columbia occurs on Vancouver Island. During July and August a post-breeding dispersal brings many birds north to southern British Columbia and Puget Sound. While some will overwinter in Puget Sound, the Strait of Georgia and Juan de Fuca Strait, others move southward in September and October. Nests are typically found on leeward sides of rocky islands with flat or slightly sloping tops and sometimes on wide ledges of cliffs. These seabirds typically feed on small saltwater fish, squid, crabs and shrimp. The primary threats are believed to be pesticides, predation of eggs and chicks by gulls, and increasing sea surface temperatures, which correlates to a decrease in nesting populations.


BC Status Red
BC Wildlife Act None
BC Forest and Range Practices Act None

Additional Information

Conservation Data Centre of BC
Field Guide N/A

Regional Districts

Not a range map

The entire area of all regional districts in which the species occurs somewhere is shaded. The actual species range may be much smaller.

  1. Mount Waddington Regional District (Vancouver Island)
  2. Capital Regional District
  3. Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District

Forest Districts

  1. South Island Forest District (DSI)
  2. North Island - Central Coast Forest District - Mainland (DNI-M)

Management Categories

Please note that some recommendations or photographs appearing in this section may not apply to this particular species.
  1. Marine Bird
Please cite these pages as: Pearson, Mike and Healey, M.C.2012. Species at Risk and Local Government: a Primer for BC. Stewardship Centre of British Columbia, Courtenay BC.
Brandt's Cormorant