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Reed Cormorant | Phalacrocorax africanus

The Reed Cormorant is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Phalacrocoracidae bird family group which includes birds such as Cormorants.

The description for the Reed Cormorant (Latin name Phalacrocorax africanus) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Phalacrocorax africanus can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 58 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 572. You will find a picture of the Reed Cormorant on page 576.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Reed Cormorant between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The Reed Cormorant is known in Afrikaans as Rietduiker.

The Reed Cormorant has a height of 60 cms and weighs around 585 gms. The head is coloured black while the bill is coloured yellow. The Phalacrocorax africanus has a grey coloured throat, black legs and a grey coloured back. The eyes are red.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is black

Eyes are red

Bill is yellow

Legs are black

Throat is grey

Back is grey

Feeding Habits ...

This birds forages for fish and other aquatic dwellers through surface sizing and diving for food in the water.

This bird has a specially adapted bill which helps it hunt for fish, crabs, shrimp and other aquatic animals in the water.

The diet includes small mammals such as rabbits, field mice and other rodents. Rodents are usually taken from the ground and killed using the sharp claws. The Reed Cormorant uses its hard bill to tear up the flesh.

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten .

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Reed Cormorant is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 2 to 6 eggs and they are coloured white.

The bird builds its nest on the ground with figs, straw and leaves. The nest is placed under a bush to protect the young from predators.

The bird builds its nest above water as a means of protecting itself from predators and to be close to its main food source which includes fish, shrimp and frogs.

The Reed Cormorant is found in the Southern African wetlands, riverine forests and moist grasslands.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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