Double-Crested Cormorant Nuptial Crests and Mating Plumage

By March 12, 2021La Jolla, Seabird

Each winter the breeding adults of the Double-Crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) display a beautiful form of mating plumage, namely a pair of nuptial crests above each eye for which the species if named.  These large tufts of feathers are striking in that they cannot be missed.  The nuptial crests can be black, white or a mixture of both colors.  This past winter I made a point of photographing this plumage, and some of my favorites are below.  Cheers, and thanks for looking!

Double-crested cormorant nuptial crests, tufts of feathers on each side of the head, plumage associated with courtship and mating, Phalacrocorax auritus, La Jolla, California

Double-crested cormorant nuptial crests, tufts of feathers on each side of the head, plumage associated with courtship and mating.
Image ID: 36845
Species: Double-crested cormorant, Phalacrocorax auritus
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

Double-crested cormorant nuptial crests, tufts of feathers on each side of the head, plumage associated with courtship and mating, Phalacrocorax auritus, La Jolla, California

Double-crested cormorant nuptial crests, tufts of feathers on each side of the head, plumage associated with courtship and mating.
Image ID: 36848
Species: Double-crested cormorant, Phalacrocorax auritus
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

Double-crested cormorant, breeding plumage showing tufts, Phalacrocorax auritus, La Jolla, California

Double-crested cormorant, breeding plumage showing tufts.
Image ID: 15785
Species: Double-crested cormorant, Phalacrocorax auritus
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

Double-crested cormorant feather detail, La Jolla, California, USA, Phalacrocorax auritus

Double-crested cormorant feather detail, La Jolla, California, USA.
Image ID: 36770
Species: Double-crested cormorant, Phalacrocorax auritus
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

Double-crested cormorant, breeding plumage showing tufts. La Jolla, California, USA, Phalacrocorax auritus

Double-crested cormorant, breeding plumage showing tufts. La Jolla, California, USA.
Image ID: 36766
Species: Double-crested cormorant, Phalacrocorax auritus
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

Double-crested cormorant nuptial crests, tufts of feathers on each side of the head, plumage associated with courtship and mating, Phalacrocorax auritus, La Jolla, California

Double-crested cormorant nuptial crests, tufts of feathers on each side of the head, plumage associated with courtship and mating.
Image ID: 36878
Species: Double-crested cormorant, Phalacrocorax auritus
Location: La Jolla, California, USA