Thursday, June 16, 2011

Double-crested Cormorant

Double-crested Cormorants are the most widespread of the Cormorants in North America.  I often see them on tall tree snags overlooking large ponds, lakes, or slow moving water.  They are also interesting to watch as they fish.  They tend to sit very low in the water.  I read somewhere that their feathers don't naturally repel water so that is why you may seem them perched with wings open drying out.  I think they look pretty cool with their emerald eye and awkward body shape.  Check out those webbed finger-like toes!  Every once in awhile you will be fortunate to see their double-crest made up of either black or white feathers.

Looking over my eBird records, I have seen them in every month of the year, but much more so during the summer.  I wondered what their migration pattern might look like, so I created another animated range map using eBird sightings maps.

make a gif

Though I have seen Double-crested Cormorants in every month in the places I have lived, they do indeed migrate.  Most of the Double-crested Cormorants spend winter in the more temperate zones, but then in Spring disperse across the center of the continent.


  1. ...I love their emerald eyes too! I just returned from South Carolina where I saw a lot of these cool birds. You have wonderful photos here. crossword puzzle you created. You are always up on all these new things. I don't know how you find the time to fit it all in!

  2. @Kelly - lack of sleep is my only explanation for how I fit the blog into my busy life. I just love your awesome photography and art at Red and the Peanut!