Double-crested Cormorant

(Phalacrocorax auritus)
Double-crested cormorant
A Double-crested Cormorant stretches its wings at Crissy Field shoreline.

Will Elder, NPS


Natural History: This bird forages for fish, mostly by diving and being able to stay underwater for about 30 seconds. It tends to rest and roost on offshore cliffs and on rocks, wharfs, and branches. It sometimes rests on water. Its takeoff is quite laborious. The nests are quite sensitive to disturbance and are found on rocky cliffs, slopes, and tall trees. Breeding season runs from April to August. This species is monogamous by nature and nests colonially.

General Distribution: In the Presidio, this species can be found in bays, the ocean, ponds, and tidal rocky areas.

Frequency: The Double-crested Cormorant is common throughout the year within the Presidio.

Identifying Characteristics: This bird has the tendency to be an upright percher with a S-shaped neck and hook-tipped bill. Unlike its relative, the Brandt's Cormorant, this species displays an orange-yellow throat pouch. These birds tend to cluster in silent flocks, forming in geese-like patterns.

Presidio Birds main page

Last updated: February 28, 2015

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

201 Fort Mason
San Francisco, CA 94123


Phone is answered daily from 10 am to 5 pm. Leave a message otherwise and we will get back to you. United States Park Police Dispatch: Non-Emergency: 415-561-5505 Emergency: 415-561-5656

Contact Us