Double-crested Cormorant
 Photo  Photo Double-crested Cormorant Photo
Double-crested Cormorant Photo Double-crested Cormorant Photo Double-crested Cormorant Photo
Double-crested Cormorant Photo Double-crested Cormorant Photo

General description.

The french/latin derivative word for 'cormorant' is "sea cow", but fishermen call this bird "Old Black Shag". A familiar sight in the East, the Double-crested has a short tuft of feathers over each eye during breeding season, thus the name. While swimming, he points his bill upwards. Cormorants are supurb divers, going to 30' for fish and squid. They position their quarry so scales won't catch in the throat. The cormorant comes immediatly to shore after feeding, and is often seen drying out with "spread eagled" wings, for this water bird has fewer subcutaneous air sacs than others and, therefore, less cork-like buoyancy when wet.

Female appearance.

Browner with tan or whitish color on neck and upper breast.

Juvenile appearance.

Similiar to female with a slight crook in its neck while in flight.

Flight pattern.

Awkwardly, the cormorant shoves off and drops to water before getting underway. In the air it flies single file.

Breeding habits.

The Double-crested Cormorant breeds in Alaska, and the interior parts of Newfoundland.

Calls or song.

Usually silent, but does emit an occasional grunt.

Population and distribution.

The Double-crested Cormorant winters north to south from New England and Alaska on both coasts, and as far south as Mexico and the Bahamas. Its range is and numbers are expanding.

Nesting habits.

3-5 chalky pale blue-green eggs in a platform of sticks and seaweed in a tree or cliff on rocky islands.
©2010 BirdingBirds LLC
Legal About Us Talk To Us