Nannopterum Brasilianum – Neotropic Cormorant

Nannopterum Brasilianum - Neotropic Cormorant in the US

Neotropic cormorant, Nannopterum brasilianum is a medium-sized cormorant found in the tropics and subtropics of North and South America. These islands and Trinidad breed it. It inhabits both coastal (including mangrove) and inland waterways. From Nicaragua northward, N. b. mexicanum, and N. b. brasilianum southward, the Uru people of Peru employ the neotropic cormorant to fish.

Quick Overview: Nannopterum Brasilianum – Neotropic Cormorant
Body size: Around 25-26 in (64-66 cm) and weight of 1270 g (44.8 oz)
Main colors: Black, Yellow-brown, White, Gray, Brown
Range: Coastal of Southwestern United States
Migratory Bird: No
Best time of the year to see in the U.S.: All Year (January – December)
Conservation Status: Least Concern

Neotropic Cormorant Description

Southern birds are larger than northern ones. It is tiny and thin compared to the double-crested cormorant. It has a long tail and an S-shaped neck. Coloration: black with a yellow-brown neck patch. During breeding, the head develops white tufts, white filoplumes, and a white border to the throat patch. The top wings are grayer than the body. The juveniles are brownish.

Nannopterum Brasilianum - Neotropic Cormorant in the US
Nannopterum Brasilianum – Neotropic Cormorant. Photo by: Bernard DUPONT


These birds have a length of 25-26 in (64-66 cm) and a weight of 1270 g (44.8 oz). Their wings could range from 40 in (102 cm).


These birds consume fish, shrimp, frogs, and insect larvae such as dragonfly nymphs. They pursue prey visually, diving and swimming after it, catching it with their beak.


Look for Neotropic Cormorants in fish farms, ponds, lakes, reservoirs, rivers, inlets, and bays.


Neotropic Cormorants spend a lot of time on land, resting or drying their wings. Their plumage becomes wet, reducing their buoyancy and allowing them to move fast underwater and seize prey.

Nannopterum brasilianum Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Subphylum: Chelicerata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Suliformes
  • Family: Phalacrocoracidae
  • Genus: Nannopterum
  • Species: Nannopterum brasilianum

Best time of the year to see

In the United States, the best time of year to see these birds is all year round, regardless of the season. This refers to any month of the year between January and December.

Distribution of the Neotropic cormorant in the USA

Quite widespread in the United States. Mostly in Louisiana, Texas, and New Mexico, but also in California, Arizona, and Oklahoma.

Nannopterum Brasilianum – Neotropic Cormorant

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