Geographical Range North America, West Indies
Habitat Lakes, rivers, swamps, seacoasts
Scientific Name Phalacrocorax auritus
Conservation Status Common

Double-crested cormorants make their home on the coasts and on inland waters. They feed almost exclusively on fish. After diving underwater for a meal, they surface, flip the fish in the air, and swallow it head-first.

These water birds are often seen sunning themselves on bare tree limbs with outstretched wings. The most likely explanation is that they have to dry their feathers this way because they lack the well-developed, waterproofing oil glands of many other birds.

Cormorants feed and nest in large colonies. The nest is usually a crude platform of sticks or seaweed that the birds build on cliffs or in trees. Females lay three to five eggs, which take about a month to hatch. After hatching, the chicks stay with the parents up to 40 days before they're ready to go out on their own.