The red-legged cormorant feeds mainly on fish and invertebrates. Typically hunting alone, but sometimes in flocks, it is an efficient diver, pursuing prey underwater and thought to spend much time foraging on the sea bed (2) (7) (8). Most foraging takes place in waters less than 15 metres deep (4) (8), and within a kilometre or two of the colony (9).
In contrast to its agility underwater, the red-legged cormorant rarely moves around on land, preferring to take off and fly rather than shuffle a few steps (7). Nesting occurs alone or in small, loose colonies (2) (4) (7). The nest is typically built on narrow ledges on vertical rocky walls, high up in sea cave entrances, or on small, rocky islets (2) (10), and is constructed from seaweed, feathers, guano, and even other items such as plastic garbage (2) (11). Breeding may occur at any time of year, but is most common between October and February. Three white eggs are usually laid (2) (6) (7).