I was looking through an Australian field-guide the other day when I got to
the cormorants page. Studying the Great Cormorant, I realised that its
scientific name was _Phalacrocorax carbo_ , and I realised that this was a
bird I'd encountered frequently in Cape Town. Fortunately I had one of my
bird lists here (from South Africa) and looked up _P.carbo_ . It was, of
course, the Whitebellied Cormorant, which I was so familiar with along the
coastline of the Cape Peninsula. The problem is, that here in Australia, it
doesn't have any white on its breast at all!
This must be a seperate subspecies of _P.carbo_ , so to all the bird boffs
out there, what are the subspecies' names? What about the birds in the
Northern Hemisphere, how do they differ? How much more variable are species
of birds with limited ranges, such as cormorants, when compared with wide
ranging birds, such as terns and albatrosses?
Some answers to this would be greatly appreciated!!
Cheerio, and happy birding!
School of Biological Sciences (619) 273 3253 changing to
University of Western Australia (618) 9273 3252
In the end we will conserve only what we love.
We will love only what we understand.
We will understand only what we are taught.