Scientific Name: Phalacrocorax auritus
Population Estimate: 1.5M, Least Concern status
Range: Winters in the southern US interior, and more extensively on the coasts. In summer it is widespread throughout North America.
Field Notes: Most common cormorant in North America, found along coasts but also inland. All black bird with hooked bill that is yellow at the base. Juveniles more pale, as in top photo. Often found in groups, these are heavy fliers that cruise just above the water. Great Cormorant and Brant's Cormorant have very limited overlap. The Neotropic Cormorant has a shared range along the Gulf Coast in Mexico, but the Double-crested Cormorant is larger with brighter yellow bill base, and relatively shorter tail.
Personal Notes: The drying of feathers is my favorite pose.