Saturday, March 7, 2020

Pelagic Cormornant

We took this photograph of a distant Pelagic Cormorant on 3 March 2020 at Woodward Bay Preserve near Olympia. I don’t think I have ever seen this species in its breeding or definitive alternate plumage, which occurs from March through August. Perhaps I never noticed the slender, white filoplumes on the sides of the birds’ necks. Although I’ve used the white patches. present in summer birds, on their sides, behind their wings, I have have not seen philoplumes on the birds’ backs. These feathers seem long in this bird—the filoplumes are usually only 1.5 inches at the longest. The feathers are “very brittle and easily brocken or lost” (Hobson 2020). 

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