Double-crested Cormorant Identification

The Four Keys to ID

  • Size & Shape

    Double-crested Cormorants are large waterbirds with small heads on long, kinked necks. They have thin, strongly hooked bills, roughly the length of the head. Their heavy bodies sit low in the water.

    Relative Size

    The size of a small goose; larger than Neotropic Cormorant, but smaller than Great Cormorant.

    Relative Sizebetween crow and goosebetween crow and goose
    Measurements
    • Both Sexes
      • Length: 27.6-35.4 in (70-90 cm)
      • Weight: 42.3-88.2 oz (1200-2500 g)
      • Wingspan: 44.9-48.4 in (114-123 cm)

Regional Differences

Double-crested Cormorants in Alaska are larger with whiter, straighter crests than individuals in the rest of North America. Heading southeast through their range, they are smaller with less obvious, curly black head crests. The smallest individuals are in the Bahamas.