Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2011-26

Common name:

Neotropic Cormorant

Scientific name: Phalacrocorax brasilianus
Date: May 13, 2011
Time: 5:45 P.M. DST
Length of time observed: 20 minutes
Number: 1
Age: adult
Location: Mill Race Pond. Approx. 5300 South 1100 West Taylorsville, Ut. (adjacent to Jordan River
County: Salt Lake
Elevation: 4300 ft
Distance to bird: 30 yds
Optical equipment: Nikon D300 DSLR camera, Nikon 80-400mm VR f4.5-5.6 lens
Weather: Cool, calm
Light Conditions: Late afternoon sun
Description:        Size of bird: 1/3 smaller that typical D.C. cormorant
(Description:)       Basic Shape: cormorant shape
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: brown-black adult
(Description:)            Bill Type: NECO shaped
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
This NECO is approaching breeding plumage coloration.
Currently (May 13-21) it presents the white V shaped border typical of adults. I have photo documented this bird 5 separate days between May 13 and 21, and postulate that it might become a summer resident as I experienced on this fishing pond last year (2010) with 7 of its species. Photos from May 13, 2011 are attached.
Song or call & method of delivery:  
Behavior: Successfully catching stocked trout, then resting on a flotation device provided as part of the pond/fishery.
Habitat: Popular fishing pond, regularly stocked with catchable sport fish, including trout, catfish, bass, bluegills.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Double Crested Cormorants, also present at the time of sighting.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
extensive first-hand experience with this species over a three year period in Salt Lake County beginning in 2009.
References consulted:  
Description from:  
Observer: Richard B. Young
Observer's address: Salt Lake City, Ut
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird: none at the time of my first encounter (May 13).
Date prepared: May 23, 2011
Additional material: Photos
Additional_Comments: Thus far this year there have been only 2 NECOs reported in Utah, the first in Davis County (D.Wheeler); and this bird in Salt Lake County.This is in contrast to last year where multiple sightings occurred, with a sighting at this location that recorded 7 NECOs at once.