Sunday, September 11, 2016

Pelagic Cormorant

The pelagic cormorant is a far ranging species found from Alaska to the Baja Peninsula in North America and Russia and Japan in the Western Pacific. 
Pelagic cormorants on Gull Island. Common murres are to the far left.
Adults are black with a metallic iridescence. During breeding season they develop purplish and greenish highlights, a white patch on each flank, and dark red skin around the eyes and base of bill. Immature birds are dark brown grading into lighter brown on the underside and lack the iridescence. 
An adult is to the left, with its purplish and greenish highlights, and a brown juvenile is to the right. A black-legged kittiwake is between them. 
We saw a few pelagic cormorants on Gull Island near Homer in Kechemak Bay, Alaska. 
The cormorant to the right is particularly resplendent in its green and purplish hues.

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