Great Cormorant with white neck, Wollongong

To: Nigel Jackett <>
Subject: Great Cormorant with white neck, Wollongong
From: Brian Fleming <>
Date: Tue, 26 Apr 2005 12:06:18 +1000
Nigel Jackett wrote:
> Today (25/4/05) while at the South Beach in Wollongong a
> large cormonant flew in from the east. Initial thoughts were
> Pied Corm. as all I could see was a white neck, but as it
> flew directly over me the entire lower half (breast down) of
> the body was black, including the vent. The cormorant had
> features identical to that of a Great Cormorant (yellow
> facial skin and throat, size matched well), but had a clean
> white front of the neck terminating at the breast. There was
> a gradual transition (flecks and spots) where the white met
> the black on the neck, not a sharp clean line dividing the 2
> colours as seen on the Pied Corm. There were no signs of
> white thigh patches as seen on Great Cormorants in breeding
> plumage.
> The cormorant was probably showing some sort of varied
> plumage, but I have not found any australian literature
> noting this variation. A seach for Great Cormorant on google
> revealed pictures similar to what I saw today. The cormorant
> in the link below is very similar to the bird at Wollongong
> today, but this plumage is charactertic of the Great
> Cormorant race lucidus (White-breasted Cormorant) ocurring
> in Southern Africa
> title_id=289&show_thumbnails=False
> Has anyone else noted this plumage in Great Cormorants in
> Australia?
> Cheers,
> Nigel
> --------------------------------------------
I understand that hybrids between Black and Pied Cormorants can occur. 
A keeper told me of a mixed pair, which produced hybrids at the
Melbourne Zoo. One parent was a pinioned captive, the other a wild bird.
Unfortunately the hybrids had flown away before I could see them. 
Perhaps your white-necked bird was a hybrid.

Anthea Fleming
Ivanhoe, Vic.
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