Double-crested Cormorant, Phalacrocorax auritus


Double-crested Cormorant
The white plumes and brighter orange-yellow bill and throat indicate breeding plumage. Double-crested Cormorants inhabit fresh as well as salt water, and are found across most of North America, unlike the (Pacific) Brandt's and Pelagic Cormorants, and the (Atlantic) Great Cormorants, which are coastal and salt-water only. Double-crested resemble the Neotropic Cormorants, which also are found on both fresh and salt water, mostly south of the Mexican border, with the northern edge of their range reaching south and Gulf Coast Texas.


Double-crested Cormorant
A first-cycle bird coming in for a landing. The lighter underparts are characteristic of birds during their first year of life, especially later in the cycle when their feathers are worn. Some first-cycle birds have much darker underparts.


Double-crested Cormorant
Double-crested Cormorant perched, drying wings. Unlike most birds, cormorants do not have water-repellent feathers, so they only enter the water to feed and bathe, and then spend a good deal of their time perched with their wings spread, drying off.


Double-crested Cormorant
Adult at nest, showing the crest.

Double-crested Cormorants
About-to-fledge young birds, begging from a parent at the nest.


Double-crested Cormorants
Flying, adult left, first-cycle bird right.


Cormorants
Double-crested Cormorant, left, on the rocky shore of the Pacific with Brandt's Cormorant, both in
breeding plumage; the two species are roughly the same size.