We (Chrissy McClarren and I) were able to refind Doug's Neotropic Cormorants by walking the trails off Access 13 and Access 12 - and then walking the beach around the lake and sifting through the Cormorants. These two were both on the lowest hanging branches, by themselves and smaller. Not easy to find, but those clues made it easier for us once we realized it. We were there from 5-8PM in blistering heat and most of the Cormorants were in the trees air-conditioning themselves by panting to dissipate the heat and stay cool. Here is s little poor video footage and a photo:
As Kristi Mayo described these two, they had "dark lores, white border around gular area, proportionately longer tail than Double-crested."
I also looked up distinguishing characteristics of the Neotropic Cormorant versus Double-crested Cormorant in Birds in North America Online. (Great database - worth subscribing to it...I get no benefits for saying that. It has tons of info on every bird species of North America. Check it out here: http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna/) The Neotropic Cormorant is a "small cormorant (ca. 1.2-1.4 kg) with emerald green eye and pale yellow gular (throat) pouch at base of grayish bill; pronounced white V of feathers outlines pouch. Breeding adult develops small patch of white filoplumes (thin feathers) along sides of head (most postauricular), sides of neck and ventral region neck, giving streaked appearance. Otherwise adult body plumage entirely black except for dark-greenish mantling to upper wings and back. In flight, neck about as long as tail. Voice low, short, frog-like grunts and baritone croaking (Sibley 2000, p. 51). Juvenile paler, with dark brown breast, variably yellower bill, and no iridescence on back.
Often occurs with Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacorcorax auritus), especially in winter; sometimes confused with that species. Body size, and shape and color of gular pouch are most reliable distinguishing marks in the field (Morrison 1979, Clark 1992, Patten 1993). Neotropic Cormorant is smaller in body length (61 vs. 74 cm), wingspan (102 vs. 127 cm), and weight (1.4 vs. 2.3 kg). Size, shape, and color of gular pouches also differ markedly (Fig. 2): gular pouch of Neotropic Cormorant resembles a horizontal V (apex pointed backward); is small, pale yellowish brown, proportionally <50% the size of remainder of head; and is bordered behind by a thin white line that outlines the size and shape of pouch. In Double-crested Cormorant, pouch is much larger; rounded rather than V-shaped in posterior profile; bright orange-yellow; and proportionally about as large as remainder of head. In addition, at a distance, tail length of Neotropic Cormorant is noticeably longer in proportion to body length than that of Double-crested Cormorant, i.e., about 0.4 versus 0.2 of total length.
In flight, the Neotropic Cormorant appears evenly balanced in profile (tail extending as far behind the wings as the head and neck extend in front); in contrast, in flight, the Double-crested Cormorant appears unbalanced in profile (shorter tail extending behind the wings in proportion to longer head and neck extending in front), thus appearing front-heavy....
See Kaufman and Small (2004) for identification tips. Good color photographs are included."
That's it from Birds of North America Online. There's a lot more in that database on them, but that's what I found helpful. I'd only had the opportunity to compare them one other time in Texas.
St. Louis MO
P.S. Thanks Charlene for posting for us!
On Tue, Jul 24, 2012 at 8:07 PM, Charlene Malone wrote:
> Chrissy McClarren just left me a msg from Smithville Lake
> She and Andy refound the 2 NEOTROPIC CORMORANTS at Public access
> #13 and #14.
> they will post tomorrow with details probably.
> Charlene Malone
> St. Louis co.
> The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
> ASM Website: http://mobirds.org/
> ABA Birding Code of Ethics
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