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Double-Crested Cormorant

Created on Day 5

on July 13, 2012; last updated July 13, 2012
Aquarium Guide - Mini

The double-crested cormorant is designed with a hook-like tip on its bill, which helps it capture its prey underwater.

Design

Double-Crested Cormorant

The double-crested cormorant is designed with a hook-like tip on its bill, which helps it capture its prey underwater. The cormorant, like the anhinga, doesn’t have oil glands to properly waterproof its feathers. It must come ashore to dry out its feathers so it can fly again.

Features

  • The double-crested cormorant’s feathers are dark brown or black with a greenish tint. It has a lean body, a long neck, and somewhat short wings. During the breeding season, the double-crested cormorant has blue eyelids, orange on its throat sacs, and two black crests.

Fun Facts

  • The bright colors of the double-crested cormorant are used to attract a mate during the breeding season. But after the mating season is over, the crests and blue eyelids are lost, and the orange coloring becomes yellow.

CLASS: Aves (birds)
ORDER: Pelecaniformes (pelicans, tropicbirds, cormorants, and relatives)
FAMILY: Phalacrocoracidae (cormorants)
GENUS/SPECIES: Phalacrocorax auritus

Size: 2–3 ft (0.6–1 m); wingspan up to 52 in (132 cm)
Weight: 2.5–5.5 lbs (1.1–2.5 kg)
Diet: Primarily fish; sometimes crustaceans, insects, and amphibians
Habitat: North America, as far north as southern Alaska, and as far south as Mexico

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