Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2010-20

Common name:

Neotropic Cormorant

Scientific name: Phalacrocorax brasilianus
Date: May 02, 2010
Time: Afternoon
Length of time observed: 1 hour
Number: 7
Age: 1 apparent adult, 6 apparent immatures
Location: Millrace Pond, 5300 So. 1100 W (just West of Jordan River)
County: Salt Lake
Elevation: 4300 ft.
Distance to bird: 50 yards
Optical equipment: 25 power scope
Weather: clear
Light Conditions: good
Description:        Size of bird: about 2/3 size of nearby D.C. Cormorants
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Cormorant shape
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: black in adult brown to very pale light brown in immatures
(Description:)            Bill Type: cormorant shape- long serrated and top bill hooked at tip
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Neotropic Cormorants were all smaller and slimmer looking than nearby D.C. Cormorants with proportionally longer tails and seemingly longer necks. The bills of the Neotropic Cormorants looked smaller in size and length when compared to the Doublt-crested.
(see photos)

The bare area on the faces and around the bills were noticeably different. The Neotropics had dull yellow gular pouches which came to a sharp v shape behind the bill whereas the D.C. Cormorants generally had brighter orange-yellow colored gular pouches that were more squared-off behind the bill. The Neotropic Cormorants all had feathered lores with no bare skin showing while all of the Double-crested bare skin just above and in front of the eye(this difference coupled with size seemed to be the quickest way to tell the two species apart.

The Immature Neotropics were in varying colors of dark brown to light brown with paler splotchy coloring in the throat and neck. The apparent adult was black throughout.
Song or call & method of delivery:  
Behavior: Either swimming or sitting on the rocks on the North end of the pond
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Given above within text of description
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
References consulted:  
Description from: Notes made later
Observer: Terry Sadler
Observer's address: 887 Germania Ave Murray, Utah
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Rich Young, Tim Avery
Date prepared: 05/13/10
Additional material: [Photos by Richard Young]
Additional_Comments: These may be the same birds that were earlier seen in Sandy and Utah County.