Range/Geographical Distribution: Breeds from Alaska and Newfoundland south to Mexico and in the Bahamas. Winters along the coasts from the Bahamas to New England.
Habitat: Lakes, rivers, swamps, and coasts.
Similar Species: Anhinga.
Description: A duck-like bird with a dark body, black bill and legs, and an orange pouch on its throat. Immature birds are brownish with a pale throat and chest.
Size: Length: 27-35” Wingspan: 45-48” Weight: 1200-2500g
Food: Fish as well as other aquatic animals, insects, and amphibians. Dives into the water to catch fish.
Breeding: Lays three to five pale blue/green eggs on a platform of sticks or seaweed placed in a tree or on a cliff. Nest in colonies.
Predators: Predators of cormorant eggs include crows, gulls, grackles, blue jays, and raccoons. Adults are preyed upon by owls and eagles.
Conservation Status: Cormorant populations decreased due to pesticide poisoning in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. They were listed as a species of concern in 1972 but recovered quickly. The cormorant is now listed as least concern by the IUCN.
Interesting Facts: The doubled-crested cormorant uses a wide variety of materials to build its nest including trash, rope, deflated balloons, and even parts of dead birds.
On the Coast: Double-crested cormorants can be seen swimming through waterways catching fish along Georgia’s coast. After its ‘swim,’ it will perch with its wings out, drying itself in the sun.