It’s a good day to be a Double-crested Cormorant—at least for those living in the eastern United States. Birds in the 24 states east of the Mississippi River are now protected from mass culls by a recent court ruling.

The cormorants have long been targeted by those who fish—or who raise fish on farms—for depleting fish stocks. So the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has periodically conducted culls, arguing that removing Double-crested Cormorants from the equation would help support populations of native fish.

The court ruling essentially says that USFWS needs to more carefully consider the birds’ ecological benefit versus their alleged detriment, and that problematic populations should be able to be dealt with on a smaller scale. The ruling also only covers eastern states; it remains to be seen whether the U.S. government will appeal.

Whatever your thoughts on the Double-crested Cormorant, there’s one thing you can’t ignore, as both of Corey’s images, above and below, so clearly reveal: their entrancing eyes.cormorant-portrait


Written by Meredith Mann
The lowly Red-winged Blackbirds in suburban New York triggered Meredith Mann's interest in birds. Five years later, she's explored some of the the USA's coolest hotspots, from Plum Island in Massachusetts to the Magic Hedge in Chicago to the deserts of Fallon, Nevada. She recently migrated from the Windy City (where she proudly served as a Chicago Bird Collision Monitor, rescuing migrants from skyscrapers and sidewalks) to Philadelphia, where she plans to find new editing and writing gigs; keep up her cool-finds chronicle, Blog5B; and discover which cheesesteak really is the best. And she will accept any and all invitations to bird Cape May, NJ.