Adults are black with an orange skin pouch below a long, hook-tipped bill. Immatures are brownish with a whitish breast. Frequently observed in large numbers sitting upright on snags over water, sometimes with wings outstretched. The “double crest” is a pair of tufts behind the eyes that this species acquires only during breeding season.
Similar species: Cormorants can be confused with anhingas when soaring. In flight, the latter may be distinguished by its longer, fanned-out, squared-off tail. At rest, anhingas have a “snakier” neck than cormorants do. Anhingas have a pointed bill that is not hook-tipped. The anhinga is a casual transient and summer visitor that formerly bred in Pemiscot and Dunklin counties. Irregularly seen from late April through mid-September.