In many cormorant species, age at first breeding is 2 to 3 years. The PRDO allowed authorized agencies to reduce cormorant numbers locally through culling and egg oiling or nest destruction, with an upper limit of 10 percent per year. Shags are birds of the coast. The current population of the cormorant is estimated to be 700-800 pairs in 100 small colonies, but it declines dramatically after El NiƱo years. The pelagic cormorant is among the least gregrious or social of the cormorants, nesting on steep cliffs along rocky and exposed shorelines, either in loose colonies or far from nearest neighbors. Cormorants eat mainly fish. May be solitary in its feeding but gregarious at other times, with groups perching together on rocks near water, holding wings out to dry. In 2010, a statewide count of cormorant nesting colonies revealed 15,425 nesting pairs, a total of 30,850 nesting birds. The statewide population, including non-breeding cormorants, is estimated at about 40,000 birds. Breeding. Adults eat an average of one pound per day. Cormorants can be found either on the coast or at inland waters, where there are some large breeding colonies. This dark, long-bodied diving bird floats low in the water with its thin neck and bill raised; perches upright near water with wings half-spread to dry. The cormorant has a stouter, more powerful beak than the shag. During the breeding season the skin under their eyes turns a vivid magenta. Non-breeding cormorants may be present at colony sites until they reach breeding age at 3 to 4 years of age. Double-crested cormorants do not nest until they are three years old. Pelagic cormorants are the smallest of the North American cormorants. During the nesting season, even non-breeding individuals come to roost at night around the edges of nesting colonies, but colonies are often smaller than those of its relatives. The birds are opportunistic and generalist feeders, preying on many species of fish, but concentrating on those that are easiest to catch. Only a small portion of the nesting birds exhibited this plumage, and we assume that the majority of fledged birds breed for the first time from when they are 2 years old or later. The Double-crested (which rarely looks noticeably crested in the field) is the most generally distributed cormorant in North America, and the only one likely to be seen inland in most areas. The gangly Double-crested Cormorant is a prehistoric-looking, matte-black fishing bird with yellow-orange facial skin. The angle of its forehead where it joins the beak is shallower and the yellow skin around the face is more extensive. In the breeding season, males are easily distinguished by their intense blue gulag pouches, displayed with a skyward pointing of the bill. The smallest cormorant of the Pacific Coast. Age at first breeding was estimated at 14 months based on juvenile plumage (R. Khan, pers. The Flightless Cormorant breeds throughout the year, laying its eggs between March and September. commun.). Brandt's cormorants nest colonially on offshore islands and mainland cliffs and are the most common of the cormorants on the Oregon coast in summer.


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