Desert Double-crested Cormorant

We had less than 2 inches of rain our first year in Phoenix.

You read that correctly. Less than 2 inches of precipitation.

So I was shocked to find a diverse number of waterfowl and shore birds winter in Phoenix. All the habitat is man made, mainly community ponds or canals bringing water from mountain reservoirs or the Colorado River.


These Double-crested Cormorants were in a pond at Red Mountain Park in Mesa, AZ this past February. The pond is large enough to support hundreds of birds. And its stocked with fish often enough to attract hunters as cormorants.

I found the eyes of the cormorants striking. The water reflects the sky which reflects in the eyes. However, I’ve found a few of people (FINE! A significant number) of people who say the birds rather unattractive.

Personally, I will continue to defend the gothic beauty of the Double-crested Cormorant.