“EMERALD EYES”: NEOTROPIC CORMORANTS ON ABACO
Neotropic or Olivaceous Cormorants Phalacrocorax brasilianus. Smaller cousins of the familiar double-crested cormorant, and occupying a quite different range. In the northern Bahamas they are considered to be uncommon summer residents whereas the big guys are common year-round residents. However the neotropics’ range has spread in the last decade and they may become more noticeable on Abaco. Right now, Abaco is pretty much the northern boundary.
In many ways, cormorants are taken rather for granted – ubiquitous black guardians of the coastal margins. But seen close-to, they have their glamour. This is especially true of the slimmer neotropics, with precious jewels for eyes and intricate plumage patterns that a mere fly-past cannot reveal.
OPTIONAL MUSIC DIGRESSION
‘Emerald Eyes’ may ring a bell with some – and not just Eric Johnson followers either. It was the title of track #1 on the under-rated (largely ignored?) 1973 Fleetwood Mac album ‘Mystery for Me’, in many ways a turning point of a group already in rapid transition.This was their last UK-produced album, cut as the complications of a rich mixture of liquids, substances and other people’s spouses were becoming acute. Bob Welch managed to pen this rather nice song. You’ll need to turn up the volume a bit. Memory lane beckons…
Credits: Photos – Bruce Hallett, Tom Sheley, Jim Todd, Lycaon; Infographics – Allaboutbirds, Comingsbirds