"This is the first time in our lives that we have seen a cormorant in Kotzebue Sound."
Observation by Bonnie Viveiros,with help by Jackie Schaeffer:
This observation by my sister Bonnie Vivveiros, who lives in Kotzebue. She has'nt seen a cormorant in Kotzebue Sound before. Not sure what species but this one had a black face. Others commented on having seen cormorants but rarely.
LEO Editor Comment:
This is the first observation from LEO Network about cormorants in the Bering Strait region. We will look to some of our resident cormorant experts for more information about range generally and identification of the type of cormorant from this post.
Comment by Bill Carter, USFWS:
This is most likely a Pelagic Cormorant. Several field guides show their breeding/summer range extends across the Bering Straight. The Cornell bird lab ebird site (www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Pelagic_Cormorant/maps-sightings) shows sightings as far north as Utqiagvik and Wrangle Island Russia, with a number of sightings around Shishmaref, Point Hope and Cape Lisburne, Alaska. This may be one of the few sightings in the Kotzebue area, but not in the Bering Sea. See Cornell's eBird site.
Comment by Gay Sheffield, Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program:
The normal range of the pelagic cormorant is to the cliffs of Point Hope further north of Kotzebue. I am not that familiar with the Kotzebue area but this bird is within its normal range.