Double-crested Cormorant

photo by Phil Swanson

Phalacrocorax auritus
L 32″ (81 cm) W 52″ (132 cm).

Song or calls:

Description: Sexes similar. Kinked neck distinctive in flight. Breeding birds blackish with iridescent green or purple gloss above; throat pouch yellow, bill black; two inconspicuous tufts above eyes. Immatures are brown above, paler below, with varying amounts of white on neck, breast, and belly; some yellow on bill. Feet black in all plumages. ‘

Food: Very good swimmer and diver, feeds mainly on fish.

double creasted cormorant
Habitat: Migrating birds use deeper marshes, lakes, and reservoirs. Breeding occurs on islands, trees, or cliffs near water, and within about 10 miles of an adequate fish supply.

Where in Nebraska: Abundant regular spring and fall migrant statewide, locally common regular breeder in the northern and western portions of the state. Rare casual summer and winter visitor. In migration can be found on medium to large lakes and reservoirs in addition to rivers like the Platte and Missouri. Sandhills lakes host breeding colonies especially lakes with large dead trees.

Fun Facts: Double-crested Cormorants nests sometimes have pebbles in them and the parents treat them like eggs.

Double-crested Cormorant - photo by Phil Swanson Double-crested Cormorant - photo by Phil Swanson
(click image for larger view)