Historical information

The Little Pied Cormorant is commonly seen in Australia's wetlands. These birds reside amongst large flocks in locations where fish is plentiful. On the occasion that this bird is seen on inland streams and dams they will be solitary. This particular species willingly mixes with similar sized birds including the Little Black Cormorant. They feed on aquatic animals ranging from insects and yabbies and are labelled as benthic feeders because they find their prey on the seafloor.

This specimen is part of a collection of almost 200 animal specimens that were originally acquired as skins from various institutions across Australia, including the Australian Museum in Sydney and the National Museum of Victoria (known as Museums Victoria since 1983), as well as individuals such as amateur anthropologist Reynell Eveleigh Johns between 1860-1880. These skins were then mounted by members of the Burke Museum Committee and put-on display in the formal space of the Museum’s original exhibition hall where they continue to be on display. This display of taxidermy mounts initially served to instruct visitors to the Burke Museum of the natural world around them, today it serves as an insight into the collecting habits of the 19th century.


This specimen is part of a significant and rare taxidermy mount collection in the Burke Museum. This collection is scientifically and culturally important for reminding us of how science continues to shape our understanding of the modern world. They demonstrate a capacity to hold evidence of how Australia’s fauna history existed in the past and are potentially important for future environmental research.

This collection continues to be on display in the Museum and has become a key part to interpreting the collecting habits of the 19th century.

Physical description

The Little Pied Cormorant specimen is a small bird with white and black colouring. The back of the head, neck, wings and tail are black while the undersides are a creamy white. The feet are webbed and are also dark in colouring. The bird has pale glass eyes and a medium sized bill and a long tail. This specimen is styled to look over it's left wing with its long neck bent to look in that direction. It stands on a wooden mount with a paper identification tag attached to the bird's right foot. The mount has the number 152 written on the wood.

Inscriptions & markings

Swing tag:
21a. / Pied Cormorant / Catalogue page 41 /

152 /