Great Basin Naturalist


Research on the nesting of the Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus auritus) was undertaken to determine the breeding biology of the bird on Utah Lake, Utah County, and the possible effects that diking Provo Bay would have on the cormorants breeding there. In 1973, two colonies in Provo Bay were visited weekly to determine laying dates, incubation period, clutch size, and hatching dates. Another colony, located on the dike of the Geneva Steel Works Reservoir near Orem, was visited daily during the spring and summer of 1973. At this colony egg-laying occurred from 13 April to 17 May. The average clutch size was 3.8, and the egg length and width averaged 60.50 mm × 39.05 mm. The average period of incubation was 28 days, and 29.5 percent of the eggs hatched, beginning on 20 May and ending on 9 June. The young weighed an average of 36 gm at hatching with a beak length of 17 mm and tarsometatarsal length of 11 mm. These measurements increased to 1543 gm, 73 mm, and 58 mm, respectively, in 23 days. The cormorant population on Utah Lake may be severely reduced by the proposed diking of Provo Bay.