The Cormorants visit the Outer Banks

By on November 27, 2023

(Photo by A. Thompson/NPS)

(Cape Hatteras National Seashore)

This striking image of a gulp (not kidding) of Double-crested Cormorants flying over South Point on Ocracoke Island was posted on Facebook by the Cape Hatteras National Seashore (CHNS) on Monday, Nov. 27. Here is the text.

They got the memo.

Every year, Double-crested Cormorants use the Atlantic coast as a primary migration route in search of food and a more hospitable climate. Cape Hatteras National Seashore is a key site along the Atlantic Flyway, where birds stop to feed and rest during their long journey.

Did you know a group of cormorants is called a gulp? Double-crested Cormorants often migrate in large flocks and form a characteristic “V” pattern, flying low, just above the water. They feed almost entirely on fish and typically consume about one pound of fish a day.

According to additional information provided to the Voice by the CHNS, Double-crested Cormorants can actually hang around here for a while. Larger flocks are present in the winter as birds move south to escape northern temperatures. Some of the birds may continue further south, but a lot of them do in fact overwinter within the seashore until the weather gets warmer, leading up to spring and summer breeding which is concentrated in the northern U.S. and Canada.

For more from Cape Hatteras National Seashore follow them on their Facebook page.



  • PJ

    Personally, I wish they would go extinct. They decimate the fish population. One pound of fish a day for all those ugly dam birds adds up to a lot of dead fish.

    Tuesday, Nov 28 @ 12:47 pm
  • Bob Hester

    These “beautiful” birds continue to decimate the fisheries in NC.

    Tuesday, Nov 28 @ 6:57 pm