Nature Journal
with Photos

          
Double-crested Cormorant
Identification Tips
(Credit: U. S. Geological Survey)
 
General Information
- Sexes similar
- Large, dark waterbird with a long, hooked bill and
   long tail
- Long, thin neck
- Gular area squared off and orange, extending straight
   down across throat
- Orange lores
- Often perches with wings spread to dry them

Adult
- Entirely black plumage
- Small white plumes on head during breeding season

Immature
- Pale throat and chest darkening below to dark belly;
   some individuals are entirely pale underneath
- Brownish back and upperwings

Similar species
Loons are similar on the water, but lack hooked bills. Anhinga has a long, pointed bill and a much longer tail. All adult cormorant species in the U.S. are separable by the shape and color of the gular areas. No other species has orange lores and gular region that does not form a point at the gape.

Neotropical Cormorant can be similar but is slimmer and longer-tailed, and has a differently shaped gular area. Great Cormorant is also similar but has a yellowish, pointed gular area surrounded with white as an adult. Immatures are dark-chested and pale bellied, unlike Double-crested.
 
 
Return to Double-crested Cormorant page