Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2013-32

Common name:

Neotropic Cormorant

Scientific name: Phalacrocorax brasilianus
Date: 4/4/13
Time: 2:30 PM
Length of time observed: 15 minutes
Number: 1
Age: Adult
Sex: Unknown
Location: In the moat on the east side of the Provo airport about 1/4 of a mile south of the where you enter the dike road from 3110 West street in Provo.
County: UT
Elevation: ~4500'
Distance to bird: ~30 yards
Optical equipment: Cabela XT 8x42 binoculars and Nikon D5000 DSLR with 300mm f4 Nikon lens at 1.4x converter
Weather: No wind, no precipitation, probably 65-70 degrees
Light Conditions: Partly cloudy
Description:        Size of bird: About 2' long
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Cormorant shape
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: Dark body, neck, and head. Green eyes. Yellow at base of bill, white feathers formed a thin white "V" shape at base of bill. Bill was gray from tip to just before reaching the eye and then becoming yellow.
(Description:)            Bill Type: long thin bill with sharp, down-curved tip on upper mandible.
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
First noticed the white "V" shape on the side of the face/bill. Used binoculars and saw that the lores were dark and there was indeed a white border at the base of the bill that went from just below the eye on one side, under the bill and to the other eye.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: No sounds heard
Behavior: Floating lazily in the moat. It was not feeding during the time I watched it
Habitat: Fresh water moat lined with small trees.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Adult Double-crested Cormorant would have shown yellow rather than dark lores and would not have the white "V" at the base of the bill.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
I've seen Neotropic Cormorants several times a year over the past few years in Utah. I've seen them in Arizona several times. I've seen them side by side with Double-crested several times as well.
References consulted: Sibley Guide.
Description from: From photo(s) taken at the time of the sighting
Observer: Jeff Cooper
Observer's address: 3499 N 1270 W in Pleasant Grove, UT 84062
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Eric Huish spotted the bird the next morning and reported it.
Date prepared: 4/5/13
Additional material: Photos
Additional_Comments: Links to photos submitted to Eric Huish and Milt Moody via email