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Merely as large as the Eurasian Coot, the threatened pygmy cormorant (Microcarbo pygmaeus) is distinguished from the great cormorant and the common shag by its much smaller size, lighter build, and long tail. Its plumage is dark brown, almost black, and its head is brownish. It breeds in south-eastern Europe and south-western Asia, preferring freshwater swamps and deltas, where it builds nests in shrubs or extensive reed beds.
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