Pelicans & Cormorants

Magnificent Frigatebird

Magnificent frigatebird

Look For Frigatebirds have long, forked tails and distinctive plumage. Their average wingspan is 90 inches—that’s almost 8 feet! Despite its long wings, this bird has relatively small feet that contribute to its awkward movements on land. They rarely walk or swim. This rather prehistoric-looking species can soar above the clouds effortlessly and stay aloft… Read more

Double-Crested Cormorant

Double-crested cormorant drying its feathers in the sun. Photo by Suresh Lakkaraju / Wikimedia Commons

Look for Often, the somewhat snakelike black neck and head is all that betrays the presence of a swimming double-crested cormorant. With practice, birders can easily distinguish a distant, flying double-crested cormorant from a pelican, goose, heron, or other large bird by its all-dark form, thick and somewhat wavy neck, longish tail, and slow wingbeats… Read more


Spot an anhinga and more when you visit Florida's bird watching hotspots. (Photo by Daniel Schwen/Wikimedia)

Look For A long thin neck and small head, thin yellow bill, and white feathers on the wings and back set the anhinga apart from the closely related cormorants. Anhingas commonly perch with their wings spread and swim with only their heads above water. Adult males are mostly black overall, while adult females and young… Read more

Brown Pelican

Brown pelican by Gary M. Stolz / USFWS

Look for At 4 feet long and with a 7-foot wingspan, the brown pelican is one of our largest and most distinctive birds. The brown pelican’s profile and marine habitat make identification easy. These massive birds have pencil lead-gray bodies and blackish flight feathers. North America’s other pelican, the larger American white pelican, winters in… Read more

American White Pelican

American white pelican, photo by Alan D. Wilson / Wikimedia Commons.

Look For This huge white bird (with a nine-foot wingspan!) has black flight feathers, and a large yellow-orange bill making it hard to mistake for any other bird. Often found in flocks both while foraging on the surface of shallow lakes, and when soaring high overhead. Listen For Not very vocal, except in breeding colonies… Read more

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