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Double-crested Cormorant (Russ Curtis/IBRRC)

Common name:

Double-crested Cormorant

Latin name:

Phalacrocorax auritus





Wing span:



3.7 lbs (1,700 g)


Open ocean; nests on sea cliffs


They have long bodies, long necks, long beaks with a hooked upper mandible, completely webbed feet, short legs and wedge-shaped tails. Plumage is predominantly black with a greenish or bronze sheen in both sexes.

Called "duck-crows" by early settlers, cormorant populations have undergone dramatic changes over the last three decades. Cormorant populations crashed during the 1960's and 1970's, as a result of widespread use of toxic chemicals such as DDT and PCBs. DDT has been linked to reproductive failure and eggshell thinning in many species of birds, while PCBs have been linked to deformities.

Cormorant are easily seen on the Seal Rocks near the Cliff House in San Francisco.


University of Michigan: Cormorant


Birds in Focus

List of species treated

powells books graphic

Source: The Sibley Guide to Birds, Knopf © 2000-2003  


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