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The Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) is of the family Phalacrocoracidae which is in the genus Phalacrocorax. It has a scattered distribution in parts of North America, Eurasia, Africa and Australasia.Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds
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There are a number subspecies recognised including the ground nesting Common Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo carbo) which occurs in Britain and Ireland that breeds on coastal rocky outcrops and on off shore islands. The tree nesting Continental Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis) which breeds in Northern Europe extending eastwards to Japan, but has in recent times colonised parts of southern Britain. This is apparently a rare subspecies in Ireland with less than 70 records but is in all probably under recorded.