A small, black cormorant with pale spotting on the back, and a long, unmarked tail. in breeding plumage, adult has a yellow-orange face patch and throat, and a small crest on the forehead. A freshwater cormorant rarely seen at the coast.
Juvenile and immature are dark brown above and white below.
Freshwater dams, lakes and rivers. Roosts and breeds colonially.
Silent except for cackling and hissing at breeding colonies.