Tuesday, July 31, 2012

San Francisco Bay Area Seabirds, Pelagic Cormorant

San Francisco Bay Area Birdwatching
SeaBirds of Marin, SF Bay and Gulf of the Farallones

Pelagic Cormorant

Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Pelecaniformes
  • Family: Phalacrocoracidae
  • Genus: Phalacrocorax
  • Species: P. pelagicus
Binomial name
  • Phalacrocorax pelagicus
The Pelagic Cormorant is a small (25"-29", 64-74 cm long) member of the cormorant family found on the coasts of the northern Pacific.

It is a black-bodied seabird with a metallic gloss. Its facial skin is a vivid magenta.

It is distinguished from other cormorants in the region by its small head and much thinner bill. Also, it is the only cormorant in its region that has conspicuous white patches on its flanks during the breeding season.

This bird feeds by diving into wild seas and surf near boulders. It can dive as deep as 100 feet (30 m) in coastal waters to feed on the sea bottom

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