The double-crested cormorant is a little more than two feet long with a wingspan of about four feet. It has dark brown to black feathers, a long hooked bill with an orange throat pouch, a long tail, and webbed black feet. Adults have tufts of feathers over their eyes. Males and females look alike.
The double-crested cormorant nests in colonies. Both the male and female will build a nest of sticks, twigs and seaweed. Nests are built in trees and shrubs and on the ground of rocky cliffs and islands. The female lays three to five eggs. Both parents incubate the eggs for about a month. Both parents also feed and take care of the chicks. The chicks fledge in 35-40 days.
The double-crested cormorant breeds from the coast of Alaska and Nova Scotia south to Mexico and the Bahamas. It winters on both coasts north to southern Alaska and southern New England.
The bird family Phalacrocoracidae or the cormorants is represented by some 40 species of cormorants and shags. Several different classifications of the family have been proposed recently, and the number of genera is disputed.