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Pygmy cormorant

Phalacrocorax pygmaeus


This bird, belonging to the family Phalacrocoracidae, can also be found under the latin name Microcarbo pygmeus. Smaller than its cousins Cormorant and European shag, it measures about 50 cm in length, and has a rather long tail. Predominant color is blackish, with green or bronzy sheen. Bill is proportionately shorter and thicker. The neck appears short - but it can extended while swimming. Presented in photos are most likely non-breeding adults and juvenile birds. Non breeding adult shows whitish chin and paler brownish chest; while juvenile is duller and browner. The breeding adult would present small white feather tufts on head, neck and underparts - tufts that are lost in summer.


Observed at Bacina lakes, near coastal town of Ploce, in delta of Neretva river. The Bacina lakes complex (seven lakes) are independent of the river and posses their own ecosystem. Lives in a large colony.


We hired a local boat and cruised for couple of hours on these waters - even though we started our visit very late (10am) we were able to observe many birds, as well as some other wildlife. Lakes are very rich in vegetation and are overgrown with reeds and low-laying trees, providing cover to number of birds - gulls, coots and various waders; amphibians, turtles, insects etc. These lakes are a bit away from the usual tourist routes, and remain less known than the rest of Dalmatia - but they are very, VERY, worthwhile a visit or, for nature lovers, a stay (which I absolutely intend to do next time back home in Croatia).

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Zlatan Celebic
Spotted by
Zlatan Celebic

Baćina, Dubrovačko-neretvanska županija, Croatia

Spotted on Jul 21, 2015
Submitted on Aug 23, 2015

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