| Story by Laura Kiran |
Lake Renwick Heron Rookery Nature Preserve is home to some of Illinois’ most interesting bird species. Among them is the double-crested cormorant, named for two small tufts (or crests) of feathers on either side of the adult cormorant’s head, usually seen most vividly during mating season.
These goose-sized, turquoise-eyed beauties are something to behold. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology calls these gangly, snaky necked birds a “pre-historic looking” mix between a goose and loon, having matte black feathers and yellow-orange facial skin.
While they may been seen roosting in tree tops, these aquatic avians are water-loving creatures and expert divers. The cormorants’ webbed feet and sleek bodies make them natural swimmers and skilled opportunists when it comes to fishing.