Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2010-21

Common name:

Neotropic Cormorant

Scientific name: Phalacrocorax brasilianus
Date: April 29, 2009
Time: 10:53 A.M.
Length of time observed: 30 minutes
Number: 4
Age: 1st year
Location: Winchester Park, 1200 West Winchester St. Murray, Ut.
County: Salt Lake
Distance to bird: 20-30 yards
Optical equipment: Nikon D300 camera; Nikon 80-400 VR f4.5-5.6 lens
Weather: Hazy sun, calm breeze
Light Conditions: Overhead diffused (thin clouds) light
Description:        Size of bird: smaller than Double Crested cormorants
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Cormorant
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: brown-black
(Description:)            Bill Type: cormorant
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Smaller than DCCOs,long tails, shorter mostly grey bill and lores, V shaped borders on chin patches. These birds were compared to Double Crested Cormorants by memory,observed at Willow Pond, a fishery less than a mile from this sighting.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery:  
Behavior: Sitting on wood snags, rocks; swimming (fishing as a group), taking small fish, flying short distances around the pond
Habitat: Tiny man-made pond adjacent to picnic area in close proximity to the Jordan River along the Murray/Jordan River Parkway
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Double-Crested Cormorants observed within days of this discovery, at a trout fishery in the area: Willow Pond, Murray Utah. It wasn't until July,2009 that I asked the Utah Birding community for help in recognizing these birds. Eric Huish, James McIntyre, Pomera Fronce and others reviewed my photos and concluded these were NECOs
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
This was my first experience with seeing Neotropic Cormorants. Since that time, I have photo-documented NECOs three other times in the Salt Lake Valley, from this sighting, then August 24th 2009,May 18,2010, and May 2, 2010.
References consulted: Local birders: Eric Huish, James McIntyre,Pomera Fronce and Sibley's "Field Guide to Western North America"
Description from: From memory
Observer:  Richard B. Young
Observer's address: Sandy, Ut.
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird:  
Date prepared: May 15, 2010
Additional material: Photos