The Double-crested Cormorant was never on the itinerary. Last year they were always on this Florida lake. Big and beautiful birds like these do take the breath away. Twenty-five years at this spot, these birds seemed to come out of nowhere. To our delight, this was an intoxicating surprise.
Dark body with orange bare skin at the base of the bill. Breeding adults are all black. Immatures and nonbreeders have paler breast. Dives underwater to catch fish. Swims like a duck between dives. Finds open perches to spread wings and dry feathers. Can be in large flocks or solo. Most widespread cormorant across U.S. and Canada; also seen inland.
Habitat Coasts, bays, lakes, rivers. Very adaptable. Found in almost any aquatic habitat. They are from the rocky northern coasts. Also, the mangrove swamps, large reservoirs to small inland ponds. Nests in trees near or over water, on sea cliffs, or on ground on islands.