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Boyd

Help with ID please

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IMG_20190205_170206_1.thumb.jpg.366b9e9dd6fbf5c09505682725569fad.jpgYesterday above the Colorado River, Bullhead City, AZ       I think these are Double-crested cormorants but didn't know they could perch on a wire.....Thanks for the help.  Sorry for the poor quality pic, only had my phone camera...

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They sure look like cormorants to me.  BUT... I just looked at eBird and it seems that double-crested and neotropic are both pretty common in AZ... and because they're just silhouettes and each bird is posed differently, I'm not sure I could say what's what there.

I'm not sure if I've seen then on wires before either. I've seen them on a lot of stuff... anything they can perch on over/near water it seems.

Just did a search... don't know how true/accurate this is but it's from a texas wildlife site...
" the Double-crested Cormorant can only perch on a flat surface like a piling, the Neotropic Comorant can perch on wires and is often seen hanging out on the lines tying a fishing boat to the ......"
This would suggest neotropic, if it's true.

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2 minutes ago, millipede said:

They sure look like cormorants to me.  BUT... I just looked at eBird and it seems that double-crested and neotropic are both pretty common in AZ... and because they're just silhouettes and each bird is posed differently, I'm not sure I could say what's what there.

I'm not sure if I've seen then on wires before either. I've seen them on a lot of stuff... anything they can perch on over/near water it seems.

Just did a search... don't know how true/accurate this is but it's from a texas wildlife site...
" the Double-crested Cormorant can only perch on a flat surface like a piling, the Neotropic Comorant can perch on wires and is often seen hanging out on the lines tying a fishing boat to the ......"
This would suggest neotropic, if it's true.

Can confirm, from personal experience, that isn't true about Double-crested Cormorants not being able to perch on wires.  I've observed them by the dozen on wires in the Florida Keys, and also a couple times here in North Carolina. 

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Not 100% positive on ID either, but I think the length of the wedge-shaped tail relative to the body as well as the bill shape/length might suggest Neotropic.

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14 minutes ago, Ves said:

Not 100% positive on ID either, but I think the length of the wedge-shaped tail relative to the body as well as the bill shape/length might suggest Neotropic.

Also not 100%, but I was thinking exactly the same thing.

Scott

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15 hours ago, Charlie Spencer said:

I found the photo absolutely fascinating.   I'd never see cormorants on a wire, and I appreciate the discussion, details, and experiences on the subject!

My thoughts too but the Neotropic would have been out of range (too far north) according to my National Geographic Field Guide....  Thanks for all the help folks.

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47 minutes ago, Boyd said:

but the Neotropic would have been out of range (too far north) according to my National Geographic Field Guide....

I still can't judge these myself(I'll trust the others) but in response to that last comment I can tell you that field guides(especially older ones) can be wrong. AND that where birds occur changes. I try to use more than one source, especially if it's an older guide or if the range is CLOSE... 
So, on eBird if you look at neotropic cormorants in the month of February in the last 10 years(just to have recent activity rather than ALL time) you'll see they are reported all around that area.

Hopefully that link works... should show a map of that county during FEB and show some purple spots where they've been reported.

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DC Corms perch nightly on the wires at a local spot here above a canal for the last 25+ years. Numbers vary from 20 to well over 100 depending on the season.

 

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On 2/6/2019 at 9:51 AM, millipede said:

They sure look like cormorants to me.  BUT... I just looked at eBird and it seems that double-crested and neotropic are both pretty common in AZ... and because they're just silhouettes and each bird is posed differently, I'm not sure I could say what's what there.

I'm not sure if I've seen then on wires before either. I've seen them on a lot of stuff... anything they can perch on over/near water it seems.

Just did a search... don't know how true/accurate this is but it's from a texas wildlife site...
" the Double-crested Cormorant can only perch on a flat surface like a piling, the Neotropic Comorant can perch on wires and is often seen hanging out on the lines tying a fishing boat to the ......"
This would suggest neotropic, if it's true.

That is mularkey.  Cormorants, particularly in my experience, perch regularly on wires.  Also, and this was obviously overlooked by whatever ... person ... wrote this horrible piece of misinformation, because the species regularly nests in TREES!

https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/140096211#_ga=2.115685254.1474998662.1549593156-334541348.1399337695

https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/139964621#_ga=2.145692724.1474998662.1549593156-334541348.1399337695

https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/136642231#_ga=2.119459849.1474998662.1549593156-334541348.1399337695

https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/132759331#_ga=2.119459849.1474998662.1549593156-334541348.1399337695

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BTW -- I'd guess Double-cresteds, as most look like they have short tails, but I am not willing to ID them as such due to the odd angles to most birds.  In many places in southern AZ, now, Neotrops outnumber DCs.

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