Brandt’s Cormorant

Phalacrocorax penicillatus

True sea birds, Brandt’s Cormorants inhabit the Pacific coast of North America from southern Alaska to southern Mexico, and aren’t known to visit freshwater environs as its Double-Crested cousins will. Their primary nesting territories are along the California coast, where they take advantage of the fish and squid food sources delivered from the Northern Pacific Ocean by the California current.

I’ve been fortunate with opportunities to observe colonies of Brandt’s Cormorants nesting in La Jolla, where they can be seen from street-level walkways without causing a disturbance to the nesting birds. There I’ve enjoyed watching them during courting, nest-building, egg-laying, baby raising, and fledging.

Click map markers to reveal further information