Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2008-16

Common name:

Neotropic Cormorant

Scientific name: Phalacrocorax brasilianus
Date: 07-31-08
Time: 2030
Length of time observed: 1 hour cumulative
Number: 1
Age: adult
Location: Ivins Reservoir
County: 19
Elevation: ~3100 ft
Distance to bird: 5 -1 00 m
Optical equipment: 8x42 binoculars, 20 - 60x (85 Zeiss diascope)
Weather: clear and calm
Light Conditions: sunny
Description:        Size of bird:  
(Description:)       Basic Shape:  
(Description:)  Overall Pattern:  
(Description:)            Bill Type:  
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Small, thin and long-tailed relative to a Double-crested Cormorant.

Small head, long neck, heavy body, broad wings, and relatively long tapered tail.

Overall coloration: glossy black from head to tail, back feathers slightly paler with dark edges. Head with long, thin bill ending in a sharp hook, mostly grayish-black, mottled below and darker above. Yellowish/orange gular patch below eye and behind bill coming to a sharp point behind gape, and bordered by a thin white band of feathers. Black feathers through loral region. Eye bright turquoise. Black legs and webbed feet with long nails.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: surprisingly vocal when closely approaced giving a series of low pitched croaks or grunts
Behavior: mostly perched low over the water, occasionally observed swimming and diving. Usually short flights from perch unto front portion of reservoir where it dove for fish.
Habitat: Small reservoir /pond with tamarisk and willows along the edges
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Double-crested Cormorant eliminated by the overall size, tail length ratio, shape of the gular patch (lacking white border). DC Cormorants also show pale yellow or orange, unfeathered supraloral areas.

All other cormorants are not observed outside of marine habitats.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
References consulted:  
Description from: Notes taken at time of sighting
Observer: Rick Fridell
Observer's address: 35050 West 290 North
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Steve Hedges (08/04) and Kevin Wheeler (08/05) also observed the cormorant.
Date prepared: 08-25-08
Additional material: Photos
Additional Comments: also observed 08/01, 08/05, 08/18, and 08/23. Cormorant was present through at least 08-23-08.