Double-crested Cormorant - Phalacrocorax auritus
The double-crested cormorant is a little more than two feet in length with a wingspan of about four feet. It has dark brown to black feathers, a long hooked bill with an orange throat pouch, a long tail, and webbed black feet. Adults have tufts of feathers over their eyes. Males and females look alike.
The double-crested cormorant is found from the coasts of Alaska and Nova Scotia south to Mexico and the Bahamas.
It winters on both coasts north to southern Alaska and southern New England.
The double-crested cormorant dives from the surface of the water for fish and marine invertebrates. After catching a fish, the cormorant surfaces, flips the fish in the air, and swallows it head-first.
The double-crested cormorant nests in colonies. Both the male and female build a nest of sticks, twigs, and seaweed. Nests are built in trees and shrubs and on the ground of rocky cliffs and islands. The female lays three to five eggs. Both parents incubate the eggs for about a month. Both parents also feed and take care of the chicks. The chicks fledge in 35-40 days.
Audio Credit: xeno-canto.org Mike Nelson