Skip navigation
5331 Views 3 Replies Last post: Aug 2, 2013 1:17 PM by ChrisE RSS
Currently Being Moderated

Jul 19, 2013 12:59 PM

Bird skull identification please



Here are some photos of a skull that I found on Chesil Beach, Dorset a few weeks ago.


The closest matches that we can find so far are Red-breasted Merganser or Shag, which I found on this rather impressive website . However some differences, eg. the detail at the back of the cranium, mean that we’re not quite convinced.


This specimen’s vital stats:

Cranium length - 53mm

Cranium width – 31mm

Bill length (incomplete) – 52mm


Any further id assistance in solving this gratefully received.






Skull 4 DSCN2580.JPGSkull 1 DSCN2583.JPG

Skull 2 DSCN2581.JPG

Skull 3 DSCN2584.JPG

    • Currently Being Moderated
      Aug 2, 2013 10:07 AM (in response to ChrisE)
      Re: Bird skull identification please


      Skullsite is an excellent ressource ad I use it in such cases as your specimen. I'm sure its a Shag skull. The next closest match would be the Cormorant, only larger and different shape, sagital crest, etc. Mergansers are ducks, just look at their large nostrils in the middle of the bill and you will dismiss this group. Compare with other possible groups: divers, grebes, gulls, but the general structure is very different. Gannets are actually the closest match outside the cormorant group, but not quite. I say Shag, Phalacrocorax aristotelis. (not aristoteles - wrong name on skullsite)


      • Report Abuse

More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked by (0)

What the symbols mean

  • "correct" answer available
  • "helpful" answer