Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 201

Common name:

Neotropic Cormorant

Scientific name: Phalacrocorax brasilianus
Date: 3-20-2012
Time: 2:10pm
Length of time observed: 10 minutes
Number: 1
Age: adult
Sex: unknown
Location: Buffalo Ranches Pond, Farmington
County: Utah  [Davis]
Elevation: 4,200
Distance to bird: 50 yards
Optical equipment: 10X50 Bushnell binoculars, Cannon SX20 Digital Camera
Weather: sunny,clear 40F
Light Conditions: great
Description:        Size of bird: 18inches
(Description:)       Basic Shape: sleek diving bird
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: jet black with an olive bill
(Description:)            Bill Type: long,thin
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
First saw the bird in flight. My first impression was it was smaller than I would expect a Double-crested Cormorant to be. After it landed on the water,I looked at the base of the bill,and saw the white edging on the gape. It dove and resurfaced several times, then toke off flying low to the north.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: none heard
Behavior: in flight overhead,then landed on water and dove repeatedly,then flew off low across the water
Habitat: freshwater pond
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Double-crested Cormorant,the only other cormorant in Utah,wouldn't have the white edging on the gape. Also they are larger.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
Yes,I saw one adult in the same spot last May,originally seen and reported by Kristin Purdy. Also I saw them twice in 2010,one in April (juvenile), and 2 in July (adult and juvenile)
References consulted: Sibley 2000
Description from: From memory
Observer: Bryant Olsen
Observer's address: 688 East 700 South SLC,UT 84102
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird: none
Date prepared: 3-21-12
Additional material: Photos
Additional_Comments: The photos are bad,but you can see the white if you look closely