July 17, 2017 – Guanay Cormorant or Guanay Shag (Leucocarbo bougainvillii)
These cormorants are found along the west coast of South America from Peru to Chile, as well as in parts of the east coast of Argentina. They eat mainly anchoveta, or Peruvian Anchovies, and other schooling fish, catching their prey during rapid pursuit diving. Once known as the “billion dollar bird,” they were the largest producers of guano in Peru. Breeding in large colonies of over 1,000 pairs, they compete for nest space with Peruvian Brown Pelicans and Peruvian Boobies. Their nests are built on the ground from guano, feathers, and other debris. Both parents incubate the eggs and feed the chicks. They are listed as Near Threatened by the IUCN due to guano mining and overfishing of their food sources.