Christopher Taylor Bird Nature Wildlife Mammal Photography
nature photography

Double-crested Cormorant Photo @
Location: Playa del Rey (Dockweiler State Beach), CA
GPS: 33.9N, -118.4W, elev=14' MAP
Date: April 26, 2014
ID : B13K6107 [4896 x 3264]

bird photography

Double-crested Cormorant Image @
Location: Gray Lodge, Sacramento, California
GPS: 39.3N, -121.8W, elev=69' MAP
Date: December 9, 2012
ID : B13K1069 [4896 x 3264]

bird photography

Double-crested Cormorant Image @
Location: Salton Sea, CA
GPS: 33.2N, -115.6W, elev=-232' MAP
Date: August 15, 2009
ID : 7C2V1654 [3888 x 2592]

Double-crested Cormorant Picture @
Location: Monterey, CA
GPS: 36.6N, -121.9W, elev=14' MAP
Date: May 26, 2007
ID : ? [3888 x 2592]

bird photography


The Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) is a member of the cormorant family of seabirds. It occurs along inland waterways as well as in coastal areas and is widely distributed across North America. Once threatened by use of DDT, the numbers of this bird have increased markedly in recent years.

Alternate common names of this bird include Crow-duck, Farallon Cormorant, Florida Cormorant, Lawyer, Shag, Devil Bird, and Taunton turkey.

The Double-crested Cormorant is a large black bird 7491 cm (29"36") long, with a wingspan up to 132 cm (52"). It has a long tail and a yellow throat-patch, and can appear to have a green sheen in certain lighting. The white double head crest is seen for a short period during the breeding season in western birds; it is duller in eastern birds. Juveniles are brown with a white face, foreneck, and breast.

A very common and widespread species, it winters anywhere that is ice-free along both coasts, as far north as southern Alaska (on the west coast) and southern New England (on the east coast). It can be found as far south as Mexico and the Bahamas. It migrates from the coldest parts of its breeding range, such as eastern Canada, and has occurred in Europe as a very rare vagrant, for example in Great Britain, Ireland and the Azores.

The Double-crested Cormorant swims low in the water, often with just its neck and head visible, and dives from the surface. It uses its feet for propulsion and is able to dive to a depth of 1.57.5 m (525 feet) for 3070 seconds. After diving, it spends long periods standing with its wings outstretched to allow them to dry, since they are not fully waterproofed. This species flies low over the water, with its bill tilted slightly upward, sometimes leaving the colony in long, single-file lines.

Food can be found in the sea, freshwater lakes, and rivers. Like all cormorants, the Double-crested dives to find its prey. It mainly eats fish, but will sometimes also eat amphibians and crustaceans. Fish are caught by diving under water. Smaller fish may be eaten while the bird is still beneath the surface but bigger prey is often brough to the surface before it is eaten. Cormorants regurgitate pellets containing undigested parts of their meals such as bones. These pellets can be dissected by biologists in order to discover what they ate.

Breeding occurs in coastal areas as well as near inland rivers and lakes. They build stick nests in trees, on cliff edges, or on the ground on suitable islands. They are gregarious birds usually found in colonies, often with other aquatic birds, and have a deep, guttural grunt call.

bird photography
double_crested_cormorant's Range Map Click here to see the Double-crested Cormorant's range map!
Listen to the Double-crested Cormorant Call:

bird photography
All images and video © Copyright 2006-2024 Christopher Taylor, Content and maps by their respective owner. All rights reserved.
nature photography