Nebraska Ornithologists' Union


Date of this Version



Dinan and Jorgensen, "Double-crested Cormorant and American White Pelican Abundance at Sandhills Lakes during Fall Migration," from Nebraska Bird Review (June 2014) 82(2).


Copyright 2014 Nebraska Ornithologists’ Union. Used by permission.


Double-crested Cormorants (DCCO, Phalacrocorax auritus) and American White Pelicans (AWPE, Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) are migratory piscivorous birds that breed in North America. Both species are abundant spring and fall migrants in Nebraska. DCCOs are also common, albeit local, breeders in northwestern Nebraska (Sharpe et al. 2001 ). DCCO and AWPE numbers have increased throughout their range in recent decades (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [USFWS] 2003, Sauer et al. 2013). Both species, but primarily DCCOs, have become increasingly controversial because of increased numbers and also because their principal food source is fish, a resource humans value. Concentrations of DCCOs, and to a lesser extent those of AWPEs, can impact small impoundments such as aquaculture facilities and are suspected of reducing sportfish populations on recreational water bodies (Erwin 1995, King 2005, Trapp et al. 1997, USFWS 2003, Seefelt and Gillingham 2006, Groen and Steinwand 2010).