Cormorants (family Phalacrocoracidae) are the large, social, fish eating birds, found in both fresh and salt water locations around the United States.
If you've seen one, you have most likely seen hundreds or thousands in a colony during breeding season.
All six cormorant species found in the United States (Double-crested Cormorant; Great Cormorant; Neotropic Cormorant, Brandt's Cormorant, Pelagic Cormorant, and Red-faced Cormorant) share similar physical features from the head down. They have dark feathers, slender bodies, webbed feet and a medium-sized set of stiff tail feathers.

Eye color is another distinguishing field identification mark for cormorants. Often if you photograh cormorants in good light conditions, eye color is highlighted.
The Brandt's Cormorant in the picture on the left, for example, is characterized by blue eyes. Double-crested Cormorants have green eyes.
Cormorants are known as the water birds without waterproof feathers. The Double-creasted Cormorant in the above picture shows the bird's solution to the problem. They spread their wings in the sun to dry.
Double-creasted Cormorants are the most widespread species in the United States. Their population levels have increased over the past thirty years, to the point of controversy. Some interest groups such as aquaculture farmers and sports fisherman, consider them as their fishing competitors.
In 2003, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) instituted new cormorant management rules, allowing states more leeway to control local populations.
North of the border, the Humane Society estimates that the Canadian government sanctioned the killing of approximately ten thousand Double-breasted Cormorants in an Ontario park between 2003-2006.


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