BIRDS OF NEW ENGLAND AND EASTERN NEW YORK - HOFFMANN

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CORMORANTS, GANNETS, ETC.: ORDER STEGANOPODES [SULIFORMES]

CORMORANTS: FAMILY PHALACROCORACIDÆ

DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT. Phalacrocorax dilophus
30 in.

Ad.— Apparently entirely black; in breeding plumage a tuft of feathers rises from each side of the head, but these are wanting after mid-summer. Im.— Head and neck and under parts grayish-brown.

The Double-crested Cormorant is a summer resident from the Isle au Haut northward, and occurs as a not uncommon migrant along the coast of New York and New England, passing north in April and May, and returning from August to November. It winters sparingly in southern New England and off the Maine coast (Knight).

When seen off our coast, Cormorants are generally flying at some distance above the water, with necks outstretched, and look like dark-colored geese or very large ducks. Their wings look large in proportion to the bird, and their wingstrokes are much slower than a loon's. Occasionally they light on a point of rock or a spar-buoy, when they bend the neck in a characteristic curve. When they perch, they squat on their tails and feet, and stand nearly upright. When thus sitting they often spread their wings and hold them for some time in what Dr. Townsend has called a “spread-eagle” posture, resembling that bird as pictured on our coins and coat of arms.



[GREAT] CORMORANT. Phalacrocorax carbo
36.00 in.

Ad.— Black, with a white throat. Im.— Belly whitish. The Cormorant is an uncommon migrant along the coast, and a winter visitant from Cormorant Rocks in Narragansett Bay and the ledges off Cape Ann to the outer islands of the Maine coast, where it is not uncommon.

It may be distinguished from the Double-crested Cormorant by its larger size and in the adult plumage by its white throat. In the immature plumage, commonly seen in winter, the Cormorant has a whitish belly, while the belly of the smaller species is brownish.


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