Brandt's Cormorant, Phalacrocorax pencillatus

Brandt's Cormorant
Brandt's Cormorants are found mostly around rocky shores along the Pacific Coast
of North America, a habitat they share with the Pelagic Cormorant; Brandt's are
distinguished by their larger size, proportionately thicker neck, and blue rather
than red chin pouch in breeding plumage. Brandt's also roost, nest, and forage in
large groups, while Pelagic are usually solitary or in very small groups. 

Brandt's Cormorant
In breeding season, above and below, the bare skin under the bill turns blue, and the bird adds white feather streamers ("filoplumes") on the side of the neck.

Brandt's Cormorant

Brandt's Cormorant
The non-breeding plumage, above.

Brandt's Cormorant
Above, a juvenile, brown all over; this bird was photographed on the shore of San
Francisco Bay, away from the usual ocean shore habitat. 

Brandt's Cormorant with Double-crested Cormorant
A Brandt's Cormorant, right, with a Double-crested Cormorant, both in breeding plumage; these two
species are about the same size, contrasting with the smaller Pelagic.