Japanese Cormorant

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Common Name: Japanese Cormorant
Scientific Name: Phalacrocorax capillatus

Size: 23-26 inches (81-92 cm) ; 152 cm wingspan

Habitat: Asia; occurs on the Pacific coast of Asia, breeding on the extreme south-east coast of Russia down to North Korea and South Korea, including central the central and northern coasts of Japan and the South Kuril Islands. During winter it can be found in small numbers off the eastern coast of China as far south as Taiwan.

This marine species occupies rocky coastlines and islands, rarely being found inland.

Status: Least Concern. Global Population: 25,000 - 100,000 mature individuals.

Diet: Fish, which it catches by pursuit-diving.

Breeding: Adults can be confused with the similar Great Cormorant. The upper wing-coverts and mantle have deep green sheen with black margins (bronze sheen on Great Cormorant), and flight-feathers also have dark green sheen. The facial skin and gular pouch are yellow, but less extensive than on the Great Cormorant. The yellow skin forms vertical border just behind the eye then extends to a sharp point at the gape, and form a small rounded patch on the chin and below the bill. Juveniles are duller than adults and commonly have white and/or mottled brown on the under parts and yellow lower mandibles.

Egg laying occurs between May and July in Japan in colonies on cliffs or rocks.

Cool Facts: It is one of the species of cormorant that has been domesticated by fishermen in a tradition known in Japan as ukai 鵜飼. It is called umiu ウミウ (sea cormorant) in Japanese. The Nagara River's well-known fishing masters work with this particular species to catch ayu.

It is also known as Temminck's Cormorant.  

Found in Songbird ReMix Seabirds Volume 2

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