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Old Thursday 28th January 2010, 15:44   #1
erisian.pope
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Bird ID - Unknown water bird? Round Rock, TX, US

I suspected cormorant due to the size and the fact that when it swam its long neck* was very visible but its body appeared to be >80% underwater. I cannot find any bird at all on Cornell's allaboutbirds site that seems to match this bird, however (and I still haven't bought a Sibley's).

Can anyone ID this bird?

As always, your help is very much appreciated.


* The neck in the photo is maybe 75% of its maximum length that I was able to observe.


-----
EDIT: The only cormorants listed in my Texas list are Neotropic and Double-Crested and both are pretty black ... but this bill looks very cormorant-y to me.
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Last edited by erisian.pope : Thursday 28th January 2010 at 15:48.
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Old Thursday 28th January 2010, 16:01   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erisian.pope View Post
I suspected cormorant due to the size and the fact that when it swam its long neck* was very visible but its body appeared to be >80% underwater. I cannot find any bird at all on Cornell's allaboutbirds site that seems to match this bird, however (and I still haven't bought a Sibley's).

Can anyone ID this bird?

As always, your help is very much appreciated.


* The neck in the photo is maybe 75% of its maximum length that I was able to observe.


-----
EDIT: The only cormorants listed in my Texas list are Neotropic and Double-Crested and both are pretty black ... but this bill looks very cormorant-y to me.

It is a juvenile Double-crested Cormorant.

http://www.roysephotos.com/zzDoubleCrCorm7D.jpg
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Old Thursday 28th January 2010, 16:12   #3
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Yes, immature DC Cormorant. One of the best ways to distinguish immatures of this species from Neotropical Cormorants of any age is their much paler breasts.

Cornell seems to let you down routinely. Definitely time to invest in a printed field guide!

Last edited by fugl : Thursday 28th January 2010 at 16:17.
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Old Thursday 28th January 2010, 16:17   #4
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Time to buy a Sibley!
I know it! At this point it's just laziness.


Thank you both for your help!

The bird was very skittish, do you think being a juv. leads to it being extra cautious or are Cormorants pretty cautious in general? It flew off due to my presence while the GBH between us just eyed me. And I'm pretty used to GBHs being pretty nervous around me.
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Old Thursday 28th January 2010, 16:24   #5
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I know it! The bird was very skittish, do you think being a juv. leads to it being extra cautious or are Cormorants pretty cautious in general?
I think skittishness mostly depends on how used to people the birds are. I see DC Cormorants regularly at city parks in Reno & in my experience the immatures aren't noticeably more skittish than adults.
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Old Thursday 28th January 2010, 16:40   #6
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cool - thanks
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Old Thursday 28th January 2010, 16:46   #7
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My experience is that young birds (especially raptors) are often less wary of humans than adult birds -- who have wisely learned to be cautious.

By the way, the Cornell site does have a photo of a juvenile DC Cormorant: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/D...d_Cormorant/id Though I agree getting a Sibley is the way to go.

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Old Thursday 28th January 2010, 16:50   #8
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Yeah, i should have thought to check juveniles of all the Cormorants after I decided it was probably a cormorant. Still, that juv. doesn't look exceedingly like mine so I probably would not have made the connection on my own.
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Old Thursday 28th January 2010, 16:58   #9
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My experience is that young birds (especially raptors) are often less wary of humans than adult birds -- who have wisely learned to be cautious.
I agree with that, I have gotten pretty close to some juvenile accips and buteos for photos without them taking of like their adult counter parts.
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Old Thursday 28th January 2010, 16:59   #10
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Originally Posted by erisian.pope View Post
Yeah, i should have thought to check juveniles of all the Cormorants after I decided it was probably a cormorant. Still, that juv. doesn't look exceedingly like mine so I probably would not have made the connection on my own.
It's in a strange pose in the Cornell photo, I think that's why it doesn't look too similar. But that's another example of why looking at photos rather than field guide illustrations can be misleading.
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Old Thursday 28th January 2010, 21:22   #11
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Definitely time to invest in a printed field guide!
Ordered it off of Amazon just a little while ago. My Sibley guide is on its way (eventually ...)
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