Double-Crested Cormorant

Phalacrocorax auritus

The Double-Crested Cormorant is a versatile bird, and we find them in either salt or freshwater environs. During most of the year, the double crests that give this bird its name are not visible. Only during the breeding season do these features develop. When these birds build nests in trees, the accumulation of fecal matter can kill the nest tree. Abandon structures such as derricks are fair game for these birds to nest in, but ground nesting is also common.

Double-Crested Cormorants often live over 20 years, but they rarely breed until the age of three. Both parents share the duties of raising their young. In some regions there is concern about overpopulation, and some communities have taken controversial measures to reduce their numbers.

Science recognises five subspecies of this bird. Including winter, summer and migrations, we may find these birds across most of the interior of the North American continent from the prairie provinces of Canada to the Yucatan peninsula. And they are hearty enough to endure the elements of the Alaskan coast to the Aleutian Islands.

Click map markers to reveal further information