Okefenokee Birding: Double-crested Cormorant

Double-crested Cormorant perched above Billy’s Lake; Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia. March 11, 2015. ©www.williamwisephoto.com

Found throughout the United States, the Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) is one of the common waterbirds found in the Okefenokee National Refuge throughout most of the year. These somewhat goofy acting birds can be seen milling about on bare cypress trees and snags over the open spaces of the swamp.

With feathers that are not water repellent, most of their body typically sinks below the water’s surface as they fish and dive. Afterwards, while roosting upon a limb, they spread their wings to dry them in the sun.

Because of their color, size and behavior, they are often confused with the Anhinga. But the cormorant’s bill is shorter and hooked at the end, unlike the long spear-like bill of the Anhinga. And while it is just my opinion, they seem less graceful than the sleek Anhinga.


iNaturalist observation: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/30501781

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