Today I’m sharing some close-up photos of a Double-crested Cormorant I recently photographed at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. I took these images of the cormorant on November 27th and 28th while parked at the Sally Jones Lake causeway, where these birds were actively feeding.

Extreme Close-Up of a Double-crested Cormorant's Head

Extreme Close-Up of a Double-crested Cormorant’s Head

As you can see in the photos, the cormorant came remarkably close to my truck, allowing me to get extreme close-ups using my camera and lens resting on a bean bag over the open window. Over those two days, White Pelicans and Double-crested Cormorants were feeding near the causeway. When I returned a few days later, these spectacular birds had moved on. I felt fortunate to have visited when I did to photograph these amazing creatures.

Double-crested Cormorant's Bright Turquoise Eye

Double-crested Cormorant’s Bright Turquoise Eye

The Double-crested Cormorant is a large waterbird, around 28-35 inches long with a 45-48 inch wingspan. It has a distinct appearance with a stocky body, long neck, medium-sized tail, webbed feet and a medium-sized bill. The adult has a turquoise eye and mouth lining and during breeding season develops small, curled plumes on either side of its crown.

Double-crested Cormarant Swimming Toward Me

Double-crested Cormarant Swimming Toward Me

These colonial nesters seek out aquatic bodies large enough to support their diet of mostly fish, but also some insects, crustaceans and amphibians. They have an incredible fishing technique, diving and chasing fish underwater. In fact, the Double-crested Cormorant is the only cormorant that nests in the Western interior, utilizing island rookeries in lakes across Colorado.

Double-crested Cormorant Floating Gracefully on the Water

Double-crested Cormorant Floating Gracefully on the Water

The oldest documented Double-crested Cormorant impressively lived nearly 18 years – eight years longer than the average wild bird lifespan. These gregarious, diurnal birds can be seen solo or in large and small groups at breeding grounds and in winter.

I feel grateful to have experienced this cormorant up close and hope you enjoy these photographs!

Here are a few of the White Pelican photos: American White Pelicans in Flight at Sally Jones Lake and American White Pelican’s Unexpected Pastime

Image Information: First Image

  • Date: 11/28/23
  • Time: 11:23 AM
  • Camera: Canon EOS R7
  • Lens: Canon RF 800mm F11
  • ISO: 1600
  • Aperture: 11
  • Shutter: 1/2000
  • Exp. Comp.: -0.3
  • Lens (mm): 800
  • Program Mode: Manual