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Double-crested cormorant
The double-crested cormorant (Nannopterum auritum) is a member of the cormorant family of water birds. Its habitat is near rivers and lakes as well as in coastal areas, and is widely distributed across North America, from the Aleutian Islands in Alaska down to Florida and Mexico. Measuring 70 to 90 cm (28 to 35 in) in length, it is an all-black bird which gains a small double crest of black and white feathers in breeding season. It has a bare patch of orange-yellow facial skin. Five subspecies are recognized. It mainly eats fish and hunts by swimming and diving. Its feathers, like those of all cormorants, are not waterproof and it must spend time drying them out after spending time in the water. Once threatened by the use of DDT, its numbers have increased markedly in recent years. This juvenile double-crested cormorant, of the subspecies N. a. albociliatum (the Farallon cormorant), was photographed at the Sutro Baths in San Francisco, California.Photograph credit: Frank Schulenburg