New Mexico Birds: Suliformes


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Phalacrocoracidae: Neotropic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax brasilianus)

In the spring of 2021, neotropic cormorants established a home base (including nests in a tree) on an island in Tingley Beach. (In May I could hear the hatchlings in the nests.) From there the cormorants spread up and down the river during the day to hunt fish. In the late summer, they vanished; not surprising, since they winter well south of New Mexico.


When cormorants 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.