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Neotropic Cormorant

Phalacrocorax brasilianus

Other than the Double-Crested, the Neotropic Cormorant is the only other North American cormorant that we commonly find in fresh water environs. Both cormorants have green eyes, but the Neotropic’s tail is longer than the Double-Crested. Breeding Neotropic Cormorants show a white chevron pattern behind the facial skin, but this can be hard to see in non-breeding birds. Most of the population of these birds stay well south of the southern USA border, even across most of South America, but they show up during breeding season in a few southern states, especially Texas, where the gulf coast hosts them year round.

I met my first Neotropic Cormorants during a summer visit to Bosque del Apache in 2003, then again in 2016. Until 2020, New Mexico birds were the only members of this species I’d met. I finally met some more of these birds during my Spring 2020 expedition to Texas. Since then, I’ve enjoyed meeting them in Arizona too.

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