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Red-legged Cormorant
Phalacrocorax gairmardi

Red-legged Cormorant
Cormorán Gris
Phalacrocorax gaimardi
Length: 650mm. Sexes alike. Bill yellow with red base; iris and eyelid grey; facial skin and gular pouch red; head and neck bluish grey with a broad white patch on sides of neck; mid upper back, lower back and rump, grey; upper tail coverts grey with a pearly white margin; tail very dark grey; sides of upper back, scapulars and wing coverts are dark grey with a wide pearly white margin at base of lanceolate feathers; primaries and secondaries, very dark grey; breast, underparts, flanks, thighs and crissum bluish grey.
Legs red. Juveniles or immature resemble adults but duller, grey is somewhat brownish, the white patch only a hint on sides of neck and lack the pearly white margin on scapulars and wing coverts; base of bill and legs greyish. Habitat and behaviour: unmistakably coloured, with its yellow bill red at base, and red legs, the Red-legged Cormorant is the scarcest of all Argentine cormorants. Nests are constructed on rocky cliffs with seaweed and detritus; clutch size is up to 4 whitish light-blue eggs covered with a calcareous layer. The only known breeding colonies are located along the coasts of the province of Chubut, in Puerto Deseado, San Julián and Cabo Blanco. Out of breeding grounds and surrounding areas there are few records of sightings; in Chubut it has been sighted in Cabo Aristizábal, Bahía Bustamante, by Mr Jehl and Mr Rumboll; the authors have seen it near Camarones and on September, 1981, they collected a female juvenile specimen in Punta León, the northernmost record for this species. Range: the monotypic race Phalacrocorax gaimardi gaimardi occurs on the Chilean and Peruvian coasts in the Pacific; the race that breeds on the Patagonian shores is Phalacrocorax gaimardi cirriger.
Illustrated Handbook of the Birds of Patagonia
Kindless: Kovacs Family

Photographs: Mariano Diez Peña

Birding Patagonia • Birdwatcing in Bariloche, Patagonia, Argentina and Chile.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction of photographs is forbidden without permission from the authors.
Photographs on the website: Mariano Diez Peña