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ADULT has mainly dark plumage, but pale feather centers on back and upper wings create a scaly appearance. Acquires black head plumes in breeding season. Note orange gular pouch, base to lower mandible and skin in front of eye; color is most intense in breeding birds.
JUVENILE Has gray-buff plumage, darkest on back and usually palest on breast and throat. Bill, bare skin around eye, and gular pouch are yellowish orange; note truncated rear margin. Acquires darker adult plumage over 3-year period.

Length: 30-35"

Mostly silent

Waterbird with relatively long neck and hook-tipped bill. Swims low in water, diving frequently for fish. Flies with head and neck outstretched; often perches with wings outstretched. North America's most widespread cormorant and the one most likely encountered near fresh water. Sexes are similar
Can be mistaken for goose at long range.