Double-Crests in Texas

Phalacrocorax auritus

The Double-Crested Cormorant is a versatile bird and can be found 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 more than 20 years, but they rarely breed until the age of three. The duties of raising the young is shared by both parents. In some regions there is concern about overpopulation, and controversial measures have been taken to reduce their numbers.

Science recognises five subspecies of this bird. Including winter, summer and migrations, these birds may be found 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.

The birds in this gallery are from meetings I had in Rockport and Aransas NWR in Texas. To view the birds I’ve met in California, Oregon and Alaska, visit the <Species Gallery>.

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