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Cormorants in Arizona

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Hi folks.  I'm a bit confused about cormorants. I was in Gilbert, AZ in February and saw a number of cormorants at a park. Here are the birds in question:



Since none of these have white borders around their bills, I thought they were all Double-crested Cormorants. However, someone on ebird informed me that the group of birds in the second photo are Neotropic Cormorants. Is this right? What's the best way to distinguish these two species? I know that Double-crested Cormorants are bigger, but judging size is difficult at a distance.

Also, the photo below is a Neotropic Cormorant, right? It was seen in Gilbert, AZ in September 2019. Basically, if I see the white border around the bill, it's definitely a Neotropic Cormorant, but if that's missing it doesn't tell me anything? Thanks!


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23 hours ago, IKLland said:

First is double crested, the last is Neotropical. Not sure about the middle photo.


17 hours ago, Hasan said:

Size and structure are helpful, but in this case look at the lack of yellow lores and acute gular. Second and third photo are Neotrops. FWIW, Neotropic is the more common species in the valley


Great, thanks you two! I love big water birds, but typically have trouble telling these two kinds of cormorants apart. Plus, I just learned a new birding term: lore.

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