Saturday, June 20, 2015

Neotropic Cormorant

Neotropic Cormorants breed from the southern tip of South America north to the southern United States. The species wanders even further north, even into southern Canada. Field marks include the white line behind the birds’ relatively short, thin bill.

In 2010, Pelecaniformes, the order in which cormorants were conventionally placed, was split into three—Pelecaniformes (pelicans, herons, and ibis), Phaethontiformes (tropicbirds), and Suliformes (cormorants, boobies, gannets, and others). The bare throat patch and webbed toes of many of these groups is now considered not to be a unifying factor.

I have written about Neotropic Cormorants in this blog. I have not commented on their calls, which sound somewhat like pigs. As a result, Spanish names for Neotropic Cormorants include “pig duck” “Filthy Duck,” and “Grunting Duck” (Telfair and Morrison 2005). This handsome bird greeted us on one of the Rockport, Texas, piers.

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