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Saturday, April 6, 2013

Two Cormorants

[New Mexico (Bosque del Apache & Tres Pistolas). March 2013]

In a small pond at the Bosque, two cormorants roost on a snag in the water.

In the same pond, the scene repeats itself but the cormorants look slightly different.
While superficially similar, the discerning observer will quickly spot some key differences as these are two different species.
The 2nd picture, with the crests visible, shows a double-crested cormorant. However, if you look closely at the 1st cormorant species [see above], the white edging to the throat pouch (yellow vs orange) and the more slender build, all suggest that this is a Neotropic Cormorant.
At this time of year, all the Sandhills have migrated North but there are still plenty of waterfowl -- such as these Cinnamon and Green-winged Teals:
Snow Geese still abound but not nearly in the numbers seen a few weeks ago.
Can you spot the Ross's Geese?
Gambell's Quail were active near sundown:
While a roadrunner scampered across:
Elsewhere at Trest Pistolas, the shy but numerous Western Scrub-Jay were found with Townsend's Solitaires:
This is a thrush that one never tires of photographing:
A highly photogenic thrush that sings as elegantly as it looks.
The mammal of the trip was a Coyote:

... and in case you were wondering, no, it was not chasing the roadrunner!

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