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, from the Aleutian Islands in Alaska down to Florida and
Mexico. Measuring 70–90 cm (28–35 in) in length, it is an all-black
bird which gains a small double crest of black and white feathers in
breeding season. It has a bare patch of orange-yellow facial skin.
Five subspecies are recognized.
The double-crested cormorant is found near rivers and lakes and along
the coastline. It mainly eats fish and hunts by swimming and diving.
Its feathers, like those of all cormorants, are not waterproof and it
must spend time drying them out after spending time in the water. Once
threatened by the use of DDT, the numbers of this bird have increased
markedly in recent years.
Photo 127, Sept 2015, Provincetown