Breeding Bird Atlas 1 Additional Accounts

Great Cormorant


Phalacrocorax carbo

The only nesting record for Massachusetts of this northern species was a nest containing three eggs discovered on June 4, 1984, on the Weepecket Islands off Naushon Island, Dukes County, in Buzzards Bay (Hatch).

Despite the dramatic explosion of Doublecrested Cormorant breeding numbers along the Atlantic coast, no subsequent Massachusetts breeding records of the Great Cormorant have been documented, although small numbers of nonbreeding individuals are regularly noted along the coast every summer. In the future, special attention should be paid to areas where Double-crested Cormorants are breeding. At present, the Buzzards Bay nesting is the southernmost breeding record for North America and the only one south of Maine, where the species was first conclusively recorded as nesting off Isle au Haut in 1983 (AB).

Great Cormorants are most numerous in Massachusetts in winter when single-day count totals sometimes reach several hundred.