Double-crested Cormorants are common inhabitants of seacoasts and inland waters, rarely observed out of sight of land. They may be seen swimming low in the water, often with little more than their heads and sinuous necks showing, but they are more evident at daytime resting places on rocks, pilings, or trees. Resting birds often hold their wings in a spread-wing posture, characteristic of many cormorants, which is thought to aid in drying wet feathers. Cormorants dive from the surface and hunt their prey underwater using powerful strokes of their totipalmate feet (in which all 4 toes are connected by web, as in other pelican-like birds). These prey may be schooling fish or bottom-dwelling fish and invertebrates; a great variety of species has been reported. Cormorants are gregarious birds, often nesting in large numbers at diverse sites¿on the ground on islands free from predators, in trees, or on various artificial structures. These colonies are conspicuous, not only because of the visible whitewash but also, downwind, because of the powerful reek of guano and rotting fish.
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