It may be seen gathered in small feeding flocks, with only its head and neck above water. Feeds on small fish.
During the breeding season, adults have a blue throat patch. This species nests on the ground.
Folk names: Penciled Cormorant.
† Phalacrocorax: Latinized Greek for phalakros (bald) and kora (raven); penicillatus: Latin for a painter's brush (pencil of hairs), in reference to plumes on its neck and back. Common name honors Johann Friedrich von Brandt.