Monday, July 30, 2007

Double-crested cormorant fact sheet

Phalacrocorax auritus Double-crested cormorant

The double-crested cormorant is a large aquatic bird with a small head and a long neck. The adults are dark brown whereas juveniles are lighter and have a white to greyish neck and chest. Males are slightly larger than females. During the breeding season the head of the adults develop a curled double crest of white and black feathers, the yellow face becomes more orange and the eyes turn bright blue. During the day they feed on small fish that they catch from surface waters.  When in the water they swim very low, often with just the neck and head visible. On land they are often seen perching (e.g. on rocks, cables and trees) and drying their wings by spreading them. Double-crested cormorants form nesting colonies between May and July. They occur throughout North America, south Alaska and Mexico. In the Azores this species is a very rare vagrant that  has been sighted around Vila Franca Islet.

Length: 70 - 90 cm

Wingspan: 114 - 123 cm

Weight: 1,200 - 2,500 g

• Average: 6.1 years
• Maximum: 17 years

Diet: Fish, amphibians, reptiles

Reproductive age: c.2 years

Eggs: 1 - 7 (average 3)

Incubation: 25 - 28 days

Nesting sites: On the ground and in trees

Fledging: 6 - 10 weeks

In other languages:
Portuguese: Corvo marinho de orelhas
Spanish: Cormorán orejudo
French: Cormoran à aigrettes
Italian: Marangone dalla doppia cresta
German: Ohrenschrabe
Dutch: Geoorde aalscholver
Swedish: Öronskarv
Norwegian: Totoppskarv
Danish: Øreskarv
Finnish: Amerikanmerimetso

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