Double-crested Cormorants

Although Osprey pair, Bella & Beau, have a dislike for them fishing near their nest platform, the prehistoric-looking Double-crested Cormorants are very shy, calm water birds, and are no threat at all.

I’ve been very fortunate to have the opportunity to capture Double-crested Cormorants while they fish daily in our creek.  Here are some of my favorites I’ve shot recently….


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“Flying High”


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“Sliding in on a Landing”


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“Touch Down”


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“Mirrored Waters”


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“Balancing Act”



“Dinner Time”


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“Hopping Lift-Off”


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“Almost Air Born”


One of the Cormorants that visits our creek often is banded on each leg, one with a silver band, the other with a yellow.  The silver band is probably a federal band designating either the United States or Canada.  The yellow band would be from a private group of banders.

Unfortunately, I cannot read either of the bands in any of my photos, but here’s a couple to show this Cormorant’s ‘ankle bracelets’.  Hopefully, it’s a gal, right?  😉

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Double-crested Cormorant with a silver band on it’s left leg


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Double-crested Cormorant with a silver band on it’s left leg


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Banded – silver on left leg, yellow on right leg


It’s been pretty cool to see him/her return often.  I wish I could read the bands to know where it’s from!

I’ve tried numerous times to capture the small double crest of stringy black feathers that appear on each side of the Double-crested Cormorant’s head during breeding season, the reason for this bird’s name.  Here’s an attempt to show you.

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“Double Crest Feathers”


Finally, here’s an up-close-and-personal instance just a few days ago with an immature who popped up fishing alongside us while we sat quietly on our boat in our marina.  It was a moment of surprise for each of us for sure.

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Immature Double-crested Cormorant


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Immature Double-crested Cormorant


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Immature Double-crested Cormorant


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Immature Double-crested Cormorant


I was rewarded well and very thankful with that two-minute photo-op moment.  🙂



33 thoughts on “Double-crested Cormorants

    • Thank you, Jerry! I especially enjoyed that moment photographing the Cormorant in the last photos, being at water level. I was able to get about a dozen focused shots. 🙂

  1. Wonderful pictures, Donna! I love the eye in the last photo – it almost doesn’t look real. I also never knew where the ‘double crested’ name came from – I didn’t realize they were crests on the side rather than on the top of the head. Thanks so much for that bit if info!

    • Thank you, Susan! I love their eye’s color, you’re right, it almost doesn’t look real. On their little side crests, it almost looks like the wind just ruffled their feathers some, doesn’t it? 🙂

  2. Great photos, Donna! These birds have interested me for a long time-and you are right, pre-historic! Seems all parts are mismatched: long body that is submerged mostly in water, a hook on the beak with bright orange markings and surprising eye color and when a group is together drying wings the sight can be alarming at first! Thanks for sharing your part of the world. hugs

    • Thank you, Beth! I always think ‘Batman’ when I see them drying their wings, lol. They are an interesting bird, also a very graceful diver. I forgot to share a few dives, but it’s almost in slow motion, yet just as quick they’re gone!

    • Thank you, Ashley! Always a special treat to get the eye shot in detail. Also neat is the inside of the adult’s mouth during breeding season, it is a stunning bright blue. I’m still working on that challenge. 🙂

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