(Posted by John Richardson <[log in to unmask]> via moumn.org)
After leaving McQuade Safe Harbor I notice 3 cormorants that have lifted of the
lake and were trying to gain height. At the first glance the birds were at about a 30
degree angle in front of us about 300 yards away. The 3 birds started to kettle and
were drifting towards us and eventually were right above us.
The first and most noticeable detail was the considerable small size of one of the
individuals in comparison to the other obvious Double Crested Cormorant (DC),
and the faster wing beat of the bird in question.
I am familiar with this species in TX, and looked for fields marks to differenciate
the two species. All is relative in the photos compared with actually seeing the bird
in person. Therefore, what I can add to the photos is the birds where at the same
height, or very close too.
I looked for the tail to be the same length as the neck and beak and there does
appear to be some support to this in the photos. Of course, one can not completely
rule out the neck being at full extension, but there does appear to be some clear
difference with the bird in question in comparison to the other two.
I looked for the extent of yellow/orange throat as the neotropic has considerably
less than the DC. in one of the photos you can see considerably less orange in the
throat compared to the other 2 DC in the photo. If the bird was a juvenile it would
still should show more orange on the throat if it was a DC, and a Juv DC
would/should show a much more paler neck and chest. This is not a strict rule to
observe as variation in color is possible, but would arguably be more likely to be
bleached lighter in spring than being darker adding to the notion it is indeed a
As pretext, yesterday we had very strong S/SW winds and extremely warm temps
into the 90's in places. I would be interested in what others have to say? If
deemed to be a DC I will remove it from the records.
Photos in the report.
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