The/A Neotropic Cormorant

Hugh Ranson

I went for a late evening walk at Lake Los Carneros. At 7:25 I came across a resting cormorant at the east end of the lake. It soon flew to the west end and began actively fishing. It was the only cormorant present. The light was dimming and I couldn't make out much detail with binoculars, but upon looking at my photos at home I saw that the bird has the distinct white V bordering the skin of the face, the mark of an adult Neotropic. In the poor photos the plumage appears dark, but this might be an artifact. The photos have been cropped and lightened. Please compare with the photos of the Neotropic taken at the same location on 4/27. Is the light playing tricks? Could the bird have gained new feathers that quickly? Is it a different bird? Does anyone have photos of the bird taken after 4/27?

Earlier today, there was a singing Blue Grosbeak in the grassland near the end of Calle Montilla at Elings Park, which has been present for over a week. It has a blue head and brown body.

Hugh Ranson
Santa Barbara

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