Neotropic Cormorant on nest
Family: (Phalacrocoracidae) Cormorants
Preferred Habitat: Lakes and ponds.
Seasonal Occurrence: Very common March through September. Somewhat less common in winter.
Notes: Neotropic Cormorants are often found in the same locales with the Double-crested Cormorant. That is fortunate as otherwise they would be hard to tell apart. In comparison with the Double-crested Cormorant, Neotropic Cormorants are smaller and have longer tails. The bare patch of skin next to the bill (the gular pouch) is yellowish, instead of orange, with the back edge more pointed. In breeding plumage this patch has a bright white border. According to David Sarkozi, some birds retain the white border even in winter. Neotropic Cormorants are found inside the Houston city limits and even close to downtown. Good areas to look for them include Hermann Park and Brays Bayou.
- Susan Billetdeaux