Double-crested Cormorant, By Amy Marques, Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA

Double-crested Cormorant

Phalacrocorax auritus

Learn more about Phalacrocorax auritus from the Encyclopedia of Life

Encyclopedia of Life

Everglades National Park,
Florida, USA
By Amy Marques
Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA

Taking a close look at the Double-crested Cormorant reveals a beautiful, brilliant green eye with a ring of blue raised dots. In contrast, its feathers appear dull grey; they are not waterproof, even though the bird possesses an oil gland at the base of its tail. The birds are typically seen after they have been diving for fish, perching with their wings outstretched in the sun and wind. These gregarious cormorants are usually found in flocks while breeding and migrating. Although they use a range of calls in social situations, the birds are largely silent. Males are known to use a “wing wave” display to attract a mate.

“This single cormorant stood out from the other birds lined up and napping on a low perch. I slowly inched closer on my knees, filling my frame with the bird’s lovely lines, textures, and watchful eye.” —AM

Canon EOS-1D Mark III; EF 70-200mm ƒ/2.8 IS USM lens at 135mm; 1/200 sec at ƒ/7.1; ISO 400; extension tube; Gitzo GT 3530LSV CF tripod; Kirk BH-1 ballhead.