Birds of Chignik: Red-faced Cormorant

Chignik red-faced cormorant

After a morning’s feeding, Red-faced Cormorants rest at a favorite roost near the outlet of Chignik Lagoon. 

Red-faced Cormorants are abundant in the sea near the villages of Chignik and Chignik Lagoon, and according to biologists their numbers appear to be increasing. They often roost and feed in mixed flocks alongside Pelagic and Double-crested Cormorants. Like other cormorants, they are primarily fish eaters, though they occasionally take crabs, shrimp and other marine invertebrates.

This beautifully colored Red-faced Cormorant was photographed by Lisa Hupp, USFWS, courtesy Wikipedia. The red face is actually bare skin which loses some of its color when the bird is not in breeding plumage.

Red-faced Cormorant Range Map: By Netzach,

Red-faced Cormorant Phalacrocorax urile
Order: Suliformes
Phalacrocorax: Latinized Ancient Greek = cormorant
urile: ?

Status at Chignik Lake: Not observed in the freshwater drainage, but common in nearby coastal waters

David Narver, Birds of the Chignik River Drainage, summers 1960-63Not observed (This is a marine species.)

Alaska Peninsula and Becharof National Wildlife Refuge Bird List, 2010:
Common in Summer; Uncommon in Spring & Fall; Rare in Winter

Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve Bird List: Present

Table of Contents for the Complete List of Birds of Chignik Lake

© Photographs, images and text by Jack Donachy unless otherwise noted.