062 Pygmy Cormorant
(Phalacrocorax pygmeus )


45-55cm. Much smaller, than the Great Cormorant. Its tail is very long, bill is proportionately short and thick (baby-faced) Neck appears short too, but can be stretched when swimming. Plumage blackish with dark green and bronzy gloss.
Adult breeding: Head, neck and underparts have small white feather tufts, subsequently lost in summer. Adult non-breeding: Whitish chin and paler, brown-tinged chest. Has no white spots on head, neck or body.


In Hungary the Pygmy Cormorants is an expanding breeder both in range and number. It nests in the largest number on the fishponds and marshlands of Hortobágy, but its population at Kis-Balaton has also become significant since turn of the Millennium. Owing to the expansion of the Hungarian breeding population, it is now more frequent , primarily on highly vegetated standing waters and along the Danube. Migrant. Most of the birds arriving in March stay on Hungarian waters until October, but when the weather is mild, it overwinters in flocks.

062 Pygmy Cormorant pic

© Graphics by Szabolcs Kókay

Source: 1) Lovászi Péter (editor): Javasolt különleges madárvédelmi területek Magyarországon, Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület, 2002; 2) BirdLife International:IUCN Red List for birds. Species factsheet; 3) Králl Attila, Nagy Károly: Fontos Madárélőhelyek Magyarországon (Területek, kritériumok és minősítő fajok) MME Monitoring Központ, 2007; 4) Szabolcs Kókay bird illustrations; 5) www.hungarianbirdwatching.com bird descriptions and checklists, 2004-2012; 6) Lars Svensson et al.: Collins Bird Guide: The Most Complete Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe 2nd Edition, Harper Collins, 2010; 7) MME Nomenclator Bizottság: Nomenclator avium Hungariae. An annotated list of the birds of Hungary. Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület, 2008