Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2010-15b

Common name:

Neotropic Cormorant  (previously Olivaceous Cormorant I assume)

Scientific name: Phalacrocorax brasilianus
Date: 25 Apr 2010
Time: 10:30 AM
Length of time observed: 15 minutes
Number: 3
Age: juveniles
Location: East Bay Business Park, Provo
County: Utah
Elevation: ~ 4,600 ft.
Distance to bird: ~ 300 ft.
Optical equipment: Kowa 20-60 x 80 spotting scope, Nikon Coolpix 4500 camera
Weather: clear partly clowdy
Light Conditions: bright sun, clear
Description:        Size of bird: about buteo size
(Description:)       Basic Shape: cormorant shape
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: Mostly gray with blochy buff and white front and neck
(Description:)            Bill Type: long with hooked end
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
These slender small-looking cormorants had tails that were proportionately longer than the usual D.C. Cormorants some had quite a lot of white behind the fairly sharp-angled gular pouch.  They all looked about the same size and general shape indicating that these were probably all the same species.   The front and neck areas varied in these birds from pretty dark brownish to lighter tan and white with a splotchy texture.  The bills looked shorter relative to the head than D.C Cormorants I've seen.
Song or call & method of delivery: none
Behavior: They were sitting in a small tree on an island.  Some would preen a little and moving their heads around but other than that, not much movement.
Habitat: Island surrounded by water by a Gold Course and Business Park
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
From Double-crested by the longer tail, shorter bill relative to the head, more white behind the sharper angled back part of the gular pouch in some of them.  The lores generally looked dark in most of the, and in the lighter ones, the lores didn't look like there was much that could be construed as orangish in color.

From Rock Shag (from the pictures I've seen) by not having any red around the eyes and by the longer tail.  ( I read that it's sometimes hard to tell the juveniles of these two species apart.  If that's the case maybe this could be a Rock Shag.  I don't know enough to say that it couldn't be).

Previous experience with
this & similar species:
I've seen this species in Texas and in Utah once at Lee Kay Pond where we identified an adult..
References consulted: The large Sibley's and Seabirds, an identification guide by Peter Harrison (under Olivaceous C.)
Description from: Time of sighting and looking at pictures afterwards
Observer: Milton Moody
Observer's address: 2795 Indian Hills Dr., Provo, Utah 84604
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird:
Date prepared: 25 Apr 2010
Additional material: Photos  (Those by Robert Williams are posted)
Additional_Comments: I took some digiscope photos but they added nothing to others that were sent in.