[TN-Bird] Neotropic Cormorants plus

  • From: OLCOOT1@xxxxxxx
  • To: tn-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 26 Jun 2011 08:15:22 -0400 (EDT)

June 25, 2011
Dyer-Lake Co. TN
Fulton Co. KY
A run up the AR side from Memphis, after checking out some  Western 
Kingbird sites for young, produced Black-necked Stilts with young  in AR-MO and 
Dyer and Lake Counties in TN. I also had Least Bitterns in  MO and at Mud 
Lake in TN.
Least Terns are desperately trying to nest on isolated flats  before the 
water completely disappears but shallow water allows the predators  free reign.
Lots of Great Egrets, Great Blue, Little and Snowy Egrets and  scattered 
Cattle Egrets anywhere there was water.
Reelfoot Lake had little to offer birdwise, a few DC  Cormorants, Osprey 
and Least Terns.
Criswell has had Neotropic Cormorants at White Lake Refuge for  a couple of 
weeks, one as late as Thursday of this week but I met him up there  again 
and they could not be found. Glen went south and I went north. Nothing at  
Phillipy Pits but BINGO at Lake #9 in Fulton Co. KY.
At first, I just found a tree full of cormorants but through  the Cypress 
foliage, one bird looked good in structure for Neotropic. After 30  to 45 
minutes of sweating buckets, the bird dropped down into the water and  jumped 
up on a low limb at the water level. I thought it was the adult  bird 
photographed on 6/19 but this bird had white filoplume tuffs on the  head that 
bird last week did not show?
So, actually there might be 4 Neotropic Cormorants in the area  of Lake #9, 
but until we get the 4 together? Almost as soon as the adult jumped  up on 
the limb another immature bird joined it and they jousted and played with  
sticks off and on for over the hour. I tried for diagnostic photos,  distance 
and heat working against my old cameras but success!
I noticed another small bird that stayed farther up on the  tree, it 
eventually dropped down and joined the other two birds. It also was an  
Neotropic but never really joined in the play of the others. 
I'm calling the adult bird a male because they usually show  more of the 
white plumes during breeding season but that is variable. The  question is, 
why is it retaining these plumes at this time as they are very  short lived 
and are usually dropped before nesting or during that  time?
A long hot wait, but worth it for the poor but diagnostic  photo of THREE 
Neo's on a limb with Big DC Cormorants as bookends. I've seen 2  Neotropic 
Cormorants in TN at one time before but now KY has us beat with  THREE. Look 
for the small cormorants at a roost near  you.............

Good  Birding!!

Jeff R. Wilson / TLBA
6300 Memphis-Arlington  Road
Bartlett, TN 38135
What is this  feathered thing that lifts my heart to the  heavens.

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