Saturday, November 5, 2011

Neotropic Cormorant

I have a really hard time telling the Neotropic and Double-Crested Cormorants apart. In Texas it was easier, but here in Arizona, it's possible to find both inhabiting the waterways, and I see Cormorants all over the city.

The difficulty of classifying them aside, I love to get a good look at Cormorants. It's fun to watch them swim with their somewhat serpentine bodies, and it's downright comical to see them hanging their wings out to dry, like a kid that just got his t-shirt all soaked. I also think that Cormorants have some of the most stunning eyes in the avian world (granted, I haven't seen a White-Eyed Vireo yet). Raptor eyes are large and piercing, but there's something about the aqua blue in the Cormorant eye that's totally transfixing (click for a larger view).

I believe that the strong white border behind the beak, along with the near lack of orange towards the front of the beak make this a Neotropic Cormorant (let me know if I'm wrong). Concealed behind a palm tree, I got to take a few nice shots and stare into the blue Cormorant eyes that take you away to a distant sea.