New Mexico Birds: Suliformes

 

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Phalacrocoracidae: Neotropic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax brasilianus)

Neotropic Cormorants have established a home base, including nests in a tree, on an island in Tingley Beach. (In May 2021 I could hear the hatchlings in the nests.) From there the cormorants spread up and down the river during the day to hunt fish. When they swim, their bodies are mostly underwater.

 

I'm distinguishing these birds from Double-Crested Cormorants (P. auritus) based on the lack of obvious yellow lores (the spaces between the beaks and eyes), the limited yellow at the base of the beak, the thin whitish fringe to the beak, and how brown the juvenile's breast is. I've included close-ups of adults' heads so you can see the lack of yellow lores.